CITES TRUMP FOR “LIES ABOUT OBAMA’S BIRTH”
by Sharon Rondeau
The conspiracy theories, Schiff said, include “Lies about Obama’s birth, JFK’s death, or now, that the Clintons are responsible for murder…”
On Saturday, following the NYPD’s declaration that convicted sex offender and newly-accused child-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein died while in a federal Manhattan prison, Trump retweeted a video from “conservative” commentator Terrence K. Williams in which Williams asked the questions, “Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen” [sic].
Williams’s comments included the imperative, “RT if you’re not Surprised.”
On Saturday CNN took note of Trump’s retweet of Williams’s commentary, writing:
President Donald Trump on Saturday promoted a conspiracy theory linking the Clinton family to the death of multimillionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, the latest instance of Trump propagating baseless conspiracy theories and falsehoods.
Trump shared a tweet and video from conservative comedian Terrence Williams that claimed without evidence that former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — Trump’s 2016 presidential election rival — were responsible for Epstein’s death. The Federal Bureau of Prisons and Attorney General Bill Barr said Epstein died in an “apparent suicide” while in federal custody.
As a result of Trump’s retweet, the video received more than 3 million views on Twitter by Sunday morning — more than triple Williams’ most recent videos. Both Trump and Bill Clinton were friendly with Epstein in previous decades, but Trump seized on the conspiracy theory Saturday in his latest dig at the Clintons. The tweet also falsely claimed that Epstein died while on suicide watch, even though Epstein had been taken off of suicide watch before his death.
On Sunday, Salon.com issued an article titled, “Yes, it matters that Trump spread a lie about the Clintons murdering Jeffrey Epstein” in which its author, Amanda Marcotte, wrote:
On Saturday, Donald Trump accused his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, of murder, retweeting a video pushing a conspiracy theory that the Clintons had somehow managed to murder Jeffrey Epstein in jail. Epstein, as roughly everybody knows, was the former financial manager (and/or swindler) who seems to have committed suicide in his New York jail cell while awaiting trial for sex trafficking of minors. Trump’s latest retweet came shortly after another one, claiming that Bill Clinton “took private trips to Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pedophilia island.'”
Both accusations were false, of course. Most of the things Trump says are false, and his rate of lies has ballooned to an average of 13 per day. But because of this explosion of falsehood, Trump’s retweets received a collective shrug from much of the media.
On May 13, 2016, Malia Zimmerman of Fox News published an article headlined, “Flight logs show Bill Clinton flew on sex offender’s jet much more than previously known,” referring to Epstein. “Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com,” the article begins.
As to the claim that Trump has “lied” about Barack Hussein Obama’s “birth,” Schiff did not clarify whether or not he was referring to Trump’s having questioned Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president in 2011 and his demand that the White House release Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate to prove his claim to a birth in Hawaii, or Trump’s September 2016 public statement that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”
On Tuesday morning, The Post & Email therefore tweeted the question, “So did Trump lie when he said, ‘President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period’?” with a link to a “News12” article containing the quote made at a Trump-campaign press conference.
Following the Obama White House’s posting of the “long-form” image purported to represent Obama’s original birth certificate held by the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH), Trump expressed satisfaction that his efforts over the last several months had apparently produced the desired result. Interviewed after debarking his helicopter in New Hampshire following the release that morning, Trump said, “We have to look at it; we have to see is it real, is it proper, what’s on it; but I hope it checks out beautifully. I am really proud, I am really honored…”
“A lot of people have to look at it; experts will look at it…” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question, referring to the birth certificate image.
Trump’s prediction was realized after then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio delegated an initial probe to his then-Cold Case Posse lead investigator, Mike Zullo, a former New Jersey police officer and detective. In what became a 5+-year probe, Zullo determined that the long-form image was a “computer-generated forgery.” Additionally, Zullo reported at the first of what would be three press conferences over the life of the investigation that Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form is also fraudulent.
At the close of the investigation in December 2016, Arpaio pledged to provide the totality of the evidence Zullo compiled to federal authorities. It is unknown as of this writing whether or not those authorities have launched their own investigation.
Trump’s questioning of Obama’s eligibility were likely based on credible mainstream reports issued over a number of years stating that Obama was born in Kenya or Indonesia and not Hawaii, as Obama claimed just before entering the political arena in Chicago in 1995. A 1991 biography circulated by his then-literary agent described him as, “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” The promotional piece remained unchanged until April 2007, approximately two months after Obama declared himself a presidential candidate.
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires that the president and commander of the U.S. military be a “natural born Citizen,” a term the Founders did not precisely define.
Last year on Carl Gallups’s “Freedom Friday”radio show, Zullo unexpectedly declared that two experienced U.S. intelligence agents confirmed to him the “open secret” in Washington, DC that Obama was not born in the United States.
In response to a number of public figures who questioned Obama’s bona fides, The New York Times and other mainstream media coined the term “birther” to apply to anyone pointing out inconsistencies in Obama’s life narrative, including information from sources such as NPR, UPI, and The Honolulu Advertiser, the latter of which reported in 2006 Obama’s birth in Indonesia, later altering its article to say he was born in Hawaii.