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Clinton campaign did not start birther moment, says Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager

The story belongs to CNN, I won’t take their thunder. The article is an interview of former Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle by Wolf Blitzer. She said:

The campaign, nor Hillary, did not start the birther movement.

The issue is covered in some depth, and the reader can get some solid background to understand the basis of Trump’s claims.


Breaking news: Trump disavows birtherism

It’s been like pulling teeth, but finally Donald Trump this morning uttered the words, reports CNN. At a rally Trump falsely stated that Hillary Clinton started the birther controversy, and Trump claims that he "finished" it, despite being unwilling to admit that he finished it for five and a half years. Perhaps if he had said the controversy was over in 2011, rather than continuing to milk it all these years, it might really have been somewhat diminished (these things are never really finished). Here’s what Trump said:

President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.

The Washington Post responded:

For years, Trump has been the most prominent backer of the so-called birther movement, which lurked in the dark corners of the Internet until Trump forced it into the mainstream. While drumming up publicity for his own possible run for the White House during the last election cycle, Trump began to aggressively question Obama’s qualifications for office. Trump never came out and said where he thinks the president was born, but he demanded to see the president’s longform birth certificate and other records. Trump also claimed to have hired investigators.

I don’t really know what Trump believes, not now nor in 2011 when his TV appearances revitalized the nearly dead and gone birther movement. And who knows, Trump might pick it up again if his birther polling numbers go down.

With that correction, we are left with only 175 reasons not to vote for him as president.


Trump no longer a birther: Giuliani says

Has Trump thrown birthers under the bus?

Donald Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani says Donald Trump now believes Barack Obama was born in the United States. Giuliani says:

Donald Trump believes now that (Obama) was born in the United States. I believe it. He believes it. We all believe it. It took a long time to get out.

When asked if he heard this from Trump himself, Giuliani gave a somewhat ambiguous answer, but it was reinforced by Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who told CNN Friday:

[Trump] believes President Obama was born here. There’s no question to me he was born in the United States.

Will Trump himself ever apologize for hijacking the national debate in 2011 with his crazy conspiracy theory? Don’t hold your breath.

Read more at CNN.

Half of the Republican ticket repudiates the birthers

The New York Times reports that Mike Pence, the Republican nominee for vice president of the United States, told NBC News, “I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.”

So far Donald Trump, who is not known for admitting his mistakes, has refused to talk about the question. One gets the impression from Trump surrogates that if Trump ever did respond, he would say: “Hillary made me.”

Charges dropped against Santilli

imageBirther talk show host Pete Santilli (right) was arrested in connection with the occupation of federal lands near Burns, Oregon, and indicted on a charge of conspiring to impede federal employees. Santilli claimed he was just reporting the event and that his actions were protected by the first amendment. Whatever Santilli’s actual intent, federal prosecutors asked the Court to dismiss the indictment.

Readers here may recall that Santilli suggested that Mike Zullo jump the White House fence to press the issue of Obama’s eligibility.

Santilli remains in custody related to another armed standoff with federal officers in Nevada, where Santilli will be taken next.

What goes around, comes around

Things don’t typically spring out of nothing. Sexual predators are often persons who were abused as children; international conflicts often have deep historical roots. Parents teach their children that actions have consequences.

The example today is the early Hillary Clinton supporters who were birthers in 2008. Do you remember Linda Sue Belcher? Perhaps you recall her screen name, Linda Starr. We encounter her on this blog as part of my shout out to John Avlon’s book, Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America. That book a source for Politifact’s misfire in its own article: “Reince Priebus says Clinton campaign and supporters started the birther movement?

Here’s what Avlon wrote:

But there’s an inconvenient truth liberals are going to have to confront: The Birthers began not on the right, but on the left.

Investigations for my new book, Wingnuts, revealed that the Birther conspiracy theory was first concocted by renegade members of the original Obama haters, Party Unity My Ass, known more commonly by their acronym, the PUMAs. They were a splinter group of hard-core Hillary Clinton supporters who did not want to give up the ghost after the bitter 50-state Bataan Death March to the 2008 Democratic nomination.

Because of that, Politifact gave Priebus’ lie a “half true” rating.

We know that whatever claims might be made about support from the PUMAs for birtherism, it was concocted and first appeared on a right-wing forum, the Free Republic a month before any alleged buzz among Clinton supporters (see Loren Collins’ report, “The Secret Origin of the Birthers”).

So here we have some Hillary Clinton supporters who failed to exercise critical thinking, or perhaps even dishonestly spread birtherism. John Avlon, writing his book in 2010, didn’t do a complete job of research.  Now, 8 and 6 years later, their actions are giving aid and comfort to Donald Trump and his surrogates, allowing them to excuse Trump’s birtherism by saying Hillary did it first. What they did was wrong, and what goes around, comes around.