“I know that there’s going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest,” Obama told reporters from the White House podium. “We don’t have time for this kind of silliness. We have better stuff to do. I have better stuff to do.”
“We’ve got some enormous challenges out there,” the president added, imploring the nation not to “get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”
The conspiracy theory that Obama was born in a foreign country — presumably Kenya — and thus ineligible under the Constitution to be president was first conceived during the 2008 campaign, and embraced by a fringe group of predominantly conservatives who fiercely disliked him. Though immediately discredited, the theories persisted in different forms in dark corners of the Internet.
The theories were most recently resuscitated by real estate mogul Donald Trump.
This article has been updated to include Obama’s remarks.
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