Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle admitted on Twitter and in a cable interview Friday that a Clinton staffer had indeed spread the rumor that President Barack Obama was born outside of the United States.
The admission came after a heated exchange Friday afternoon with Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush’s former spokesman, who was pressing Ms. Doyle for the truth that Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign was responsible for creating a whisper campaign in the press that Mr. Obama was ineligible for the presidency.
Ms. Doyle told Mr. Feischer it was a “lie” that the campaign spread the rumors, but then admitted in the same tweet a 2008 staffer had indeed sent an email spreading the birther conspiracy.
“@AriFleischer I fired the rouge [sic] & I called [Mr. Obama’s campaign manager] @davidplouffe to apologize 4 said rouge,” Ms. Doyle tweeted in response to Mo Elleithee, Ms. Clinton’s former traveling press secretary, who said: “The one rouge staffer who sent an email was fired pretty damn quick.”
Ms. Doyle appeared about an hour later on CNN with Wolf Blitzer to address the issue once again. She denied that Hillary Clinton had started the birther theory — then admitted that someone in the Clinton campaign had, in fact, been involved.
“There was a volunteer coordinator, I believe, in late 2007, I believe, in December, one of our volunteer coordinators in one of the counties in Iowa — I don’t recall whether they were an actual paid staffer, but they did forward an email that promoted the conspiracy,” Ms. Doyle said.
Wolf Blitzer, who was interviewing her then said, “The birther conspiracy?” to which Ms. Doyle replied: Yeah, Hillary made the decision immediately to let that person go. We let that person go.”
Seizing on the comments, Mr. Trump’s team said they felt “vindicated.
“With Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager admitting on national television and on Twitter that they promoted the rumors surrounding now-President Obama’s heritage, Mr. Trump has been fully vindicated,” Jason Miller, a senior communications adviser, said in a statement. “Not only was a Clinton campaign worker blamed and fired over the activity, we have now been informed that Secretary Clinton was aware of what was going on, with Clinton’s campaign manager even apologizing to Obama’s campaign manager.”
Mr. Miller noted this still doesn’t explain why Mrs. Clinton didn’t fire her chief strategist Mark Penn, who wrote a memo in March 2007 to paint Mr. Obama as fundamentally foreign.
The Atlantic published the entire memo Friday, and this column has previously reported on it.