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Trump insists effort to extort Obama for charity has ‘tremendous momentum’

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, October 29, 2012 12:13 EDT
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Donald Trump via lev radin / Shutterstock.com
 
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For some reason, “Fox & Friends” actually wanted to know on Monday what President Barack Obama’s response has been to Donald Trump’s attempt at extortion. There’s of course been no response, but that didn’t stop them from asking.

“First of all, I have to tell you there’s tremendous momentum,” he said. “When I originally did it the first little while, people didn’t quite get it. And there was a little bit of a backlash, there was some people who didn’t like it — but there were a lot of people that did. Now there’s unbelievable momentum.”

Trump previously teased “Fox & Friends” that he was going to unleash a “bombshell” of a disclosure about Obama last week, but his ultimate announcement was a bust.

Instead of a closely held secret about the president, Trump essentially declared that he had nothing by offering to write a $5 million check to any charitable organization in the country if Obama will release his passport and college records — yet another barb in the real estate mogul’s conspiracy-driven mission to somehow prove that the president isn’t really an American.

While many in the media have dubbed Trump’s latest strange project an attempt at extortion, “Fox & Friends” called it a “challenge” and happily gave Trump a platform to promote the offer. “I hope to see nothing of a problem,” he said. “I really would, because that would make the presidency a sham for the last four years. If I really had — people don’t understand this. People think, like, ‘Oh gee, is he really being serious?’ I am being serious. What I would hope is that I would see absolutely nothing wrong.”

Trump added that he believes that it’s “a possibility” that the White House would turn over records indicating that Obama was born outside the U.S., and is therefore ineligible to be president. The state of Hawaii, however, has repeatedly confirmed that the president’s birth certificate, both the short and long form versions, are in fact legitimate.

Despite the repeated confirmation of Obama’s citizenship over the last four years, the Gallup polling firm said Monday (PDF) that 39 percent of Americans think Obama was born elsewhere. Just shy of half, 49 percent, told poll takers that they believe the president is a natural born citizen. Gallup also found that 18 percent of Americans think that Obama is a Muslim, while a whopping 35 percent “don’t know.” Just 28 percent correctly pinpointed the president’s religion as Protestant.

Trump, who’s campaigned with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, nearly had a speaking role at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, and even filmed a sketch in which he fired an Obama impersonator, but the party scrapped his participation at the last moment. Nevertheless, he was still honored as “Statesman of the Year” by Florida’s Sarasota County GOP.

Trump’s not the only one misusing the word “momentum,” either: According to New York Times polling expert Nate Silver, Romney appears to have lost some of the magic his first debate performance worked on voters. No matter where 39 percent of the voters think the president was born, Silver says that most signs point to a slight edge for Obama with just over a week to go before Election Day.

This video is from “Fox & Friends,” broadcast Monday, October 29, 2012.


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Photo: Shutterstock.com

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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