ARE THEY TO BE TRUSTED?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 16, 2016) — Over more than two weeks, mainstream media including MSN, ABC News, and The Washington Post drilled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his surrogates as to why Trump had not yet said publicly that Barack Hussein Obama was “born in the United States.”
Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton joined the chorus, scolding Trump for failing to acknowledge that Obama was “born in Hawaii” and/or “born in America.”
On Thursday, the Trump campaign released statement on its website which reads, in part:
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer. Even the MSNBC show Morning Joe admits that it was Clinton’s henchmen who first raised this issue, not Donald J. Trump.
In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised. Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.
On Friday, Trump ended a campaign event by stating “that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period” while taking credit for putting the question to rest in 2011. The Associated Press then reported:
As he did so, the Republican nominee repeated the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign for president started the so-called the “birther controversy.”
There is no evidence that is true, and Clinton and her allies have strongly denied that suggestion.
On Friday afternoon, Yahoo! News published an article about the Trump campaign statement which began:
After five years as the chief promoter of the false idea that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, Donald Trump admitted on Friday that the president was — and claimed credit for putting the issue to rest.
“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” Trump said in brief televised remarks. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”
But as Trump sought to put that false conspiracy theory to rest, he stoked another, claiming that the “birther movement” was started by rival Hillary Clinton. There is no evidence that is true.
The Washington Post ran a similar story to Yahoo!’s titled “Trump admits Obama was born in U.S., but falsely blames Clinton for starting rumors.”
Reuters joined the cacophony by writing that “Trump concedes Obama born in U.S., falsely blames Clinton for rumors.”
In an April 1, 2012 article by Dr. Jerome Corsi, an in-person interview with Hollywood film producer Bettina Viviano depicts Viviano telling Corsi that in regard to questions about Obama’s birthplace and eligibility, “Clinton started it. Everybody who has called this a conspiracy from the Republicans or the tea party, they need to know who started it – the Democrats…Bill Clinton was making references to it…”
On March 19, 2007, a memo written by then-Clinton campaign chief strategist Mark Penn suggested that Obama’s “lack of American roots” be used to bolster Clinton over Obama in the upcoming 2008 primary contests. “I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values,” Penn wrote.
He also contended that Obama was “phony.”
Thursday’s Trump campaign statement begins with a hyperlink to the Penn memo. A second link in the first paragraph leads to an MSNBC broadcast where “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough said, referring to the questions about Obama’s origins, “This was started by Hillary Clinton and was spread by the Clinton team.” Another MSNBC guest, Politico reporter Ben Smith, reported that Clinton’s “supporters” were “grasping at straws” to show that Obama did not meet the eligibility criteria for president.
Subsequently in the montage, Sean Hannity said that an “email chain” from the Clinton campaign began the questions about Obama’s birthplace and background. “This was an intra-Democratic Party dispute,” guest Mark Steyn responded. “She started it: the original ‘birther,'” he said.
Viviano and co-producer Gigi Gaston reported that there was considerable fraud committed at the 2008 Democrat primaries engineered to favor Obama. Over the summer, leaked emails from the DNC show that party operatives favored Clinton over challenger Bernie Sanders.
After enduring several months of pressure early in 2011, the White House released what it said was a scan of a certified copy of Obama’s original birth certificate held by the Hawaii Department of Health in Honolulu. Within hours, however, the image was declared a poor forgery by a number of experts.
Later in the video montage linked to by the Trump campaign is a segment of Carl Gallups’s “Freedom Friday” radio show in which Gallups spoke about the results of a criminal investigation launched several months later, in September 2011, by the Maricopa County Cold Case Posse at the request of Sheriff Joseph Arpaio. At a March 1, 2012 press conference, CCP lead investigator Mike Zullo and Arpaio announced that the long-form birth certificate image is a “computer-generated forgery.”
At a second presser on July 17 of that year, Zullo said that investigators found no evidence that Obama was ever in the state of Hawaii before the age of five.
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires the president to be a “natural born Citizen,” which to most Americans has always meant “born in the United States.” To many who have studied the events leading up to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, however, the term means much more: that not only is a birth within the country required, but also the candidate’s parents must have been U.S. citizens at the time of the birth.
In 1916, Democrat attorney, Third Assistant Secretary of State and future ambassador to Italy Breckinridge Long questioned the eligibility of Woodrow Wilson’s Republican opponent, Charles Evans Hughes, who was born in New York City to two British-citizen parents. In a lengthy essay published in the Chicago Law Journal titled “IS MR. CHARLES EVANS HUGHES A ‘NATURAL BORN CITIZEN’ WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CONSTITUTION?” Long made the case that Hughes was “a citizen” by virtue of his birth in the United States, but not a “natural born Citizen” because of his parents’ citizenship status at the time.
Perhaps surprisingly, Yahoo! published The Post & Email’s comment informing the writer and readership of Penn’s proposed 2007/2008 strategy.
In January 2006, then-reporter with The Honolulu Advertiser, Will Hoover, wrote that like then-congressional hopeful Tammy Duckworth, Obama was born outside the country” in Indonesia” and Duckworth in Thailand.
Hoover’s article was later changed to say that Obama was born in Hawaii, with the author explaining that he had been facing a publication deadline and an impending trip to the mainland and hastily found the “born in Indonesia” Obama narrative on the internet.
However, MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, an open Obama supporter at the time, said on December 18, 2007 that Obama was “born in Indonesia” and possessed “an Islamic background,” speculating that the Clinton campaign might, in fact, use such information against him in the primaries.
Despite having himself claimed that Obama was born outside the country, Matthews told Trump during the 2016 campaign cycle that his questioning of Obama’s U.S. birth would return as a campaign issue. “You’re going to have to answer it in the general election. Are you going to take the Oval Office when the president leaving the office isn’t legitimate?” Matthews asked him.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer predicted that “She’s going to raise this issue against you.”
Arpaio and Trump have been labeled “controversial” by Al Sharpton for questioning Obama’s background, although Arpaio has said his posse’s work has focused on the issue of the forgeries rather than Obama’s birthplace.
In reviving the “birther” controversy with its focus on Trump, the media has failed to report the findings of the Cold Case Posse, including that the purported Selective Service registration form signed by Obama in 1980 is also a forgery.
Selective Service registration for males is required by law for employment with the federal government.
Since late 2008, two different versions of Obama’s alleged Selective Service registration record have been released to FOIA requesters by the Selective Service System without an explanation. When posse lead investigator Mike Zullo and Arpaio asked SSS Director Lawrence Romo for the opportunity to inspect a certified copy of Obama’s record in Washington, DC, Romo refused them access.
Despite the well-known reports of forgery, the mainstream media has accepted the long-form birth certificate as authentic, including Heather Nauert and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News in a broadcast from August 2014.
Of note is that recent mainstream media reports refer to Obama’s assumed birth “in the U.S.” or “in the United States,” but not necessarily in Hawaii. No hospital in the 50th state has claimed Obama’s birth, nor has any hospital anywhere in the world.
During the 2016 presidential primary season, it was well-known that Republican candidate and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was not born in the United States, yet he was allowed to compete as questions about his eligibility to serve were raised by prominent law professors, constitutional attorneys, and members of the public. Many in the media then, too, scoffed at “the birthers.”
Update, 6:00 p.m. EDT: The Daily Caller reported today that former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher tweeted that in 2008, “#SidBlumenthal, long-time #HRC buddy, told me in person #Obama born in #kenya.”
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.