Potential 2012 GOP presidential contender Donald Trump is doubling down on his call for President Barack Obama to produce a birth certificate, saying “facts are emerging” that have raised a “real question” as to whether Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as president.
The president has spent “millions of dollars” in legal fees to “trying to get away from this issue,” Trump said.
The billionaire’s remarks came Monday morning in an exclusive interview with "Fox & Friends" co-hosts on Fox News.
Trump said that, when he initially raised the issue last week on ABC’s "The View," he believed Obama was born in the United States and should simply produce the birth certificate to clear up any questions.
As recently as Thursday, Trump told Newsmax
in an exclusive interview: “I assume that Obama was born in the United States. I assume he was probably born in Hawaii.”
But following his controversial remarks on "The View," Trump said Monday, new information has emerged to give him serious doubts where Obama was born.
Asked point blank by Fox News host Gretchen Carlson whether he believes Obama was born in the United States, Trump replied: “I am really concerned. And I will tell you, when this all started a week ago, I assumed . . . Hey look, you have no doctors that remember, you have no nurses — this is the president of the United States — that remember.
“That ad that was placed in the . . . paper, that was placed in the paper days after he was born,” Trump said. “So he could have come into the country, and they did it for social reasons they put it in. They did it for whatever reason, there are a lot of reasons they could have put an ad in, but he could have been born outside of this country.
“Why can’t he produce a birth certificate?” Trump said. “And by the way, there’s one story that his family doesn’t even know what hospital he was born in.”
Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was somewhat mocking when he addressed the birth certificate issue in May 2009.
“I’m the guy who said put the president’s birth certificate on the Internet two years ago . . . why did I put it on the Internet?” Gibbs said in response to a question from the media. “For the crazy idea that somebody might actually look at the birth certificate, under the rubric of transparency, that the president really was born in the state of . . . Hawaii.”
The document that the White House released is called a “Certification of Live Birth.” It does not bear a signature of authentication.
Trump told Fox on Monday that “anybody can get” a certification of live birth by simply walking into a hospital.
Trump said he found it “insulting” that "The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg intimated that racism was behind the birth-certificate issue. Goldberg said that no white president had ever been asked to produce a birth certificate.
“The fact is they asked John McCain for his birth certificate,” Trump told Fox. “They’ve asked others for their birth certificate. They asked Bush for his birth certificate, by the way, I just found out over the weekend. And they would ask me for my birth certificate.
“Now this guy either has a birth certificate or he doesn’t,” Trump said. “And I didn’t think this was such a big deal, but I will tell you it’s turning out to be a very big deal. Because people now are calling me from all over saying, ‘Please don’t give up on this issue.’”
Trump also said the activists asking for the White House to present a birth certificate, rather than a certification of live birth, have been unfairly maligned by the media.
“Well, you know it’s amazing,” Trump said. “I start off every time I talk about the birthers, I start off by saying, and it’s very interesting: ‘I was a great student at the best college in the country.’
“I want to let people know I’m a smart guy,” Trump said. “Because what they do to the birthers — and I don’t even like the term ‘the birthers.’ I think it’s unfair to them. These are people who want to see a birth certificate. They want to know that the president was born here.”
Carlson asked Trump why he’s calling for Obama to produce a birth certificate, given Trump’s exploration of a possible run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.
“Because if you were not born in the United States, you cannot be president,” Trump replied. “And there’s a real question. And if this birth certificate exists — you know what I get a kick out of? The governor of Hawaii says, ‘Oh, I remember when he was born 50 years ago.’ I doubt it. I think this guy should be investigated. I doubt he remembers when Obama was born. Give me a break! He’s just trying to do something for his party.
“The fact is, if you’re not born in the United States, you cannot be president. He is having a hard time . . . he’s spent millions of dollars trying to get away from this issue, millions of dollars in legal fees trying to get away from this issue."
“And I’ll tell you what,” Trump added. "I brought it up just routinely. And all of a sudden a lot of facts are emerging, and I’m starting to wonder myself whether or not he was born in this country.”
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