OpEd: More than five years after Donald Trump began pushing the lie that President Obama was not an American, and less than two months before the 2016 election, he has admitted he lied.
And he couldn’t admit he lied without lying again, trying to say Hillary Clinton had started the conspiracy lie.
Many major publications, including the Washington Post and New York Times, investigated the claim against Clinton and found that too was a lie.
Trump left his press pool stuck at the airport so they could not hear him say: “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.” He joked about the media didn’t get to his announcement, which served as an infomercial for a new Trump building.
It was not true in 2011, when Donald J. Trump mischievously began to question President Obama’s birthplace aloud in television interviews. “I’m starting to think that he was not born here,” he said.
"It was never true, any of it. Mr. Obama’s citizenship was never in question. No credible evidence ever suggested otherwise.
Yet it took Mr. Trump five years of dodging, winking and joking to surrender, finally on Friday, to reality after a remarkable campaign of relentless deception that tried to undermine the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president,” the New York Times said.
“You know who started the birther movement? You know who started it? Do you know who questioned his birth certificate, one of the first? Hillary Clinton. She’s the one that started it. She brought it up years before it was brought up by me.”
— Donald Trump, interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, May 4, 2016
“Zombie claims are stubborn things. No matter how many times you debunk them, they keep rising from the dead — even eight years later,” the Washington Post said.
Few expected his base, who he once said would forgive him for shooting someone on the street, will be angered by this announcement even though it amounts of clear cut racism.
However, his effort to reach out for support from African-American votes ended Friday.
Whether the media will continue to allow themselves to be used is another question. He has fooled them dozens or more times.
He got away with an infomercial a day earlier when he said he released his medical records, but didn’t. And the media, apparently afraid of being accused of “fat shaming” Trump barely mentioned his dangerous obesity.
One pundit did say he is 40 pounds over weight or 70. His weight was variously given as 237 and 267.
CNN Anchor Jake Tapper said: “The mainstream media was played. Big time, and they know it.
“And they're mad.
“Trump used them for a 29 minute ad for both his hotel and his campaign.
“That's not all.
“(the) CNN anchor called the spectacle a "political Rickroll." (A Rickroll is a bait-and-switch.)
“It’s hard to imagine this as anything other than a political Rickroll,”
“We were told that this was going to be Donald Trump addressing something that his top campaign advisers, many people in the Republican National Committee want him to address, and clear up, and then stop talking about,” The New Civil Rights Movement reported.
Trump took no questions about the announcement.
Tapper said “Trump has been trafficking in a “discredited lie for "more than half a decade.”
“It was very clever on one level. On another level, it does speak to the integrity of the Trump campaign.”
Sadly, the media has given Trump such carte blanche it was difficult to believe even this grandest of all lies will hurt him.
A Clinton victory will depend on an alliance of groups Trump has insulted, a bigger bankroll for commercials and a vastly superior game getting out voters.
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.