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.
A New York Times investigation has found that Donald Trump owes at least twice as much debt as he reported in his public filing required of presidential candidates.
The Times put the amount at $650 million.
It’s long been known that Trump’s wealth claims are an oasis.
In “The Making of Donald Trump” he is quoted as saying: “my net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings, but I try.”
The Times says: “As president Mr. Trump would have substantial sway over monetary and tax pay, as well as the power to make appointments that would directly affect his own financial empired ...Yet The Times’s examination underscored how much of Mr. Trump’s business remains shrouded in mystery. He has declined to disclose his tax returns or allow an independent valuation of his assets.
“Earlier in the campaign, Mr. Trump submitted a 104-page federal financial disclosure form. It said his businesses owed at least $315 million to a relatively small group of lenders and listed ties to more than 500 limited liability companies. Though he answered the questions, the form appears to have been designed for candidates with simpler finances than his, and did not require disclosure of portions of his business activities.”
Don’t expect Trump to reveal his taxes, as every major presidential candidate since the late President Richard Nixon did.
There are too many years when he paid none.
Meanwhile, Politico says Republicans see the future as so bleak they are preparing to break the emergency glass alarm. They are working on ways to distance their lower-ballot candidates from Trump as far as possible.
In addition to the Johnston book, voters who want to see the kind of hijinks Trump has pulled they can now see a movie showing how he did it all.
Litigation had blocked it from being shown for years but “Trump What’s The Deal” can now be rented or bought.
Facebook gives a look for those who do not want to rent or buy the movie whose viewing was blocked for a quarter of a century.
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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.
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