Donald Trump’s campaign moved to take the “birther” issue off the plate by releasing a statement Thursday night acknowledging that Barack Obama was born in the U.S. and even taking credit for solving the issue.
The statement accuses the Hillary Clinton campaign of bringing up the issue in the first place and says Mr. Trump deserves credit for having put the factual issue to rest by getting Mr. Obama to release his long-form birth certificate.
“Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States,” said Jason Miller, the Trump campaign’s senior communications adviser.
Mr. Trump was asked earlier Thursday by The Washington Post whether he believed Mr. Obama was born in the U.S., and he parried the question by saying he doesn’t talk about the issue any more, is focused on other issues, and would say something at the appropriate time.
The acknowledgement aside, Thursday night’s statement repeated those concerns and said “Mr. Trump is now totally focused on bringing jobs back to America, defeating radical Islamic terrorism, taking care of our veterans, introducing school choice opportunities and rebuilding and making our inner cities safe again.”
The Trump campaign also repeated the claims that the first whispers that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya came from supporters of Mrs. Clinton during their bitter contest for the 2008 Democratic primaries.
“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 … 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,” the statement said.