Hillary Clinton said Friday there’s no “erasing” the “birther” issue for Donald Trump, saying the GOP presidential nominee’s campaign was founded on the “outrageous lie” that President Obama was not born in the United States.
“We know who Donald is. For five years, he has led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president,” Mrs. Clinton said at an event in Washington, D.C.
“His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie,” she said. “There is no erasing it in history. Just yesterday, Trump again refused to say with his own words that the president was born in the United States. Now, Donald’s advisers have a temerity to say he’s doing the country a service by pushing these lies.
“No, he isn’t,” she said. “He is feeding into the worst impulses — the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country.”
“Barack Obama was born in America, plain and simple, and Donald Trump owes him and the American people an apology,” she said.
“Donald Trump looks at President Obama after eight years as our president — he still doesn’t see him as an American. Think of how dangerous that is,” she said. “Imagine a person in the Oval Office who traffics in conspiracy theories and refuses to let them go no matter what the facts are.”
In an interview with The Washington Post this week, Mr. Trump declined to answer a question about Mr. Obama’s birthplace.
His campaign then said Thursday evening he believes Mr. Obama was born in the U.S. before Mr. Trump again declined to answer a question about it during an appearance on Fox Business Network Friday morning.
In 2011, Mr. Trump had led the charge to get Mr. Obama to release his birth certificate to prove he was born in the United States.
The White House released the president’s long-form birth certificate in April 2011. While not naming Mr. Trump specifically, Mr. Obama said: “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”
Mr. Trump crowed about the development during an appearance in New Hampshire soon afterward.
“Today, I’m very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish,” Mr. Trump said then.
“I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully — hopefully — getting rid of this issue,” he said.
Mr. Trump and his team have said it’s Mrs. Clinton and her 2008 presidential campaign who first got started on the issue — a claim that multiple fact-checkers have said is false.