Trump Teases “Big Announcement” on His Birther Beliefs

He may finally say he thinks Obama is actually an American citizen.

Evan Vucci/AP

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Donald Trump said on Friday morning that he’ll make a “big announcement” during a speech at his new Washington, DC hotel regarding his longstanding claims that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. The announcement may be the first time that Trump publicly says he believes Obama was born in the United States, reversing years of high-profile advocacy for the “birther” movement.

Trump was the most prominent champion of birtherism, a right-wing conspiracy theory that claims Obama was actually born in Kenya and denies that his birth certificates are real. His campaign has recently tried to distance Trump from his birther past. On Thursday, Trump declined to answer a question from the Washington Post about whether he still believed that Obama was not a US citizen. Jason Miller, the Trump campaign’s senior communications adviser, issued a statement later that day saying that “Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.?”

As Mother Jones‘ Tim Murphy pointed out, nearly every word of the statement was a lie. Trump has never personally disavowed his birther statements, and the statement falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement during the 2008 and that Trump had stopped discussing the issue after he achieved “closure” by “compelling” the release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate in 2011. Neither statement is true, but Trump repeated one of those claims on Friday morning during an interview on Fox Business Channel. “She is the one that started it and she was unable or incapable of finishing it,” he said. “That’s the way it worked out.”

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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