The news unfolded tonight thusly:
First, Republican presidential candidate and foremost birther conspiracy theorist Donald Trump refused to admit whether or not President Obama was born in the USA.
From Washington Post:
In the interview, conducted late Wednesday aboard his private plane as it idled on the tarmac here, Trump suggested he is not eager to change his pitch or his positions even as he works to reach out to minority voters, many of whom are deeply offended by his long-refuted suggestion that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.
“I’ll answer that question at the right time. I just don’t want to answer it yet,” Trump said.
When asked whether his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was accurate when she said recently that he now believes Obama was born in this country, Trump responded: “It’s okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs, I want to focus on other things.”
He added, “I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”
And within minutes of that statement, Jason Miller of the Trump campaign released a statement saying Donald Trump does, in fact, believe the President was born in Hawaii.
Hillary Clinton's campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer. Even the MSNBC show Morning Joe admits that it was Clinton's henchmen who first raised this issue, not Donald J. Trump.
In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised. Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama's birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.
As has been mentioned many, many times, the idea that Hillary Clinton originated the 'birther' theory has been debunked as false. In 2015, PolitiFact proved the claim to be false. "Clinton's campaign, one of the most thoroughly dissected in modern history, never raised questions about the future president's citizenship."
A couple of things here.
If Trump felt the "ugly incident" was brought to a close in 2011, why did it take over five years for him to admit it? Because he was still promoting the idea a year later. See the tweet below from 2012:
Also, note that the statement is not directly from Trump but a surrogate. When will we hear the actual words from Trump himself? Trump should either own it or denounce it himself - not a surrogate.
My thoughts are that Trump wanted this off the table before the first presidential debate. But does it? Surely there will be questions like mine?