White House Press Secretary Jay Carney curtly dismissed a question about President Barack Obama’s refusal to release his college transcripts, comparing the issue to the long battle for the president to release his birth certificate.
“This is the Donald Trump question,” Carney answered, without responding to the question that has continued to haunt the president.
Trump himself described Carney’s response as “a true honor,” in a tweet he sent out shortly afterward.
Obama has consistently refused to release college transcripts from Occidental College, Columbia University and Harvard Law School despite several requests from conservatives.
Carney’s answer suggested he still has no intention of doing so in the current campaign for the White House.
The press secretary was talking about Obama’s views on openness when the question was asked. “It has become a well-established tradition in our country to make available information about one’s private dealings — that just comes with the territory,” Carney said. “So he not only accepts that but practices it and believes it is the right thing.”
The reporter started his question by saying, “One thing that people — at least his opponents — continue to bring up is his college records...” but Carney cut him short.
“Right, this is the Donald Trump question. I think he is the one that brings it up the most,” he said, before the reporter asked, “What’s the answer?”
Carney made no attempt to give one, saying, “I would refer you to the campaign.”
He then continued by calling out Trump for his campaign last year which led to Obama eventually releasing his long-form birth certificate that showed he was born in Hawaii.
“It is preposterous,” Carney said. “This is from a guy who insisted that he didn’t believe the president was born in the United States.
“It is funny, every once in a while, when I sit back in my office and remember all the things that seemed to be the most important issue of the day and there were briefings after briefings where that was the most important issue of the day to the point where we had to solicit the long form of the president’s birth certificate.
“Again, the president’s record on transparency is extremely sound. He has provided the kind of documentation that candidates for president have now, by tradition, provided for 30 years and he believes it is the right thing to do.”
Soon after, Trump sent out a series of tweets, starting with, “@BarackObama should release all his records (like other Presidents)....”
He followed that with, “But the attention @BarackObama gets for not doing so covers up his ineffective record as President.”
Then he described his reaction to Carney’s response. “A true honor. @PressSec considers asking for @BarackObama's college transcripts a ‘Donald Trump question.’ Release it!”
Later the business mogul, who this week opened what has been described as “probably the best golf course in the world,” in Scotland, made it clear where his support is for the election.
“In his entire political career, @BarackObama has never had a tough @GOP opponent before @MittRomney. He is a paper tiger. #GOMITT.”
Obama promised his White House and administration would be the “the most open and transparent in history." But the promise has fallen short, with the administation moving to prevent disclosure of numerous official activities from health care negotiations with Congress and, more recently, Department of Justice documents relating to the Fast and Furious case.
Obama has also taken to keeping his hand close to the vest with personal documents. Though almost all presidential candidates disclose their college and university records, Obama had steadfastly refused to release any record relating to his education.
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