Billionaire real estate mogul and television celebrity Donald Trump blamed the media Sunday for marginalizing those who do not believe President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
“It’s a very strange situation, that’s all I can tell you,” Trump, a potential Republican presidential candidate, said on CNN’s State of the Union. “And you know, it’s a very sad thing, because the people, the birthers, they got labeled and they got labeled so negatively and even the word birther is a negative word.”
“And I always tell people, I was a very good student,” Trump added. “I went to the best college, I went to great schools, I have very high aptitude, because if you come out and even question, the press goes wild. They get angry at the question. And the fact is, if he wasn’t born in this country, he shouldn’t be the president of the United States.”
Many of the so-called “birthers,” such as American Independent Party presidential candidate Alan Keyes, believe there is persuasive evidence that Obama was born in Kenya in 1961 and that his birth certificate was faked in order to make him eligible for the Presidency.
A lawsuit by Keyes that claimed Obama is not eligible to occupy the White House because he is not a natural born citizen was thrown out by the Third District Court of Appeals in October. Last year, a district court judge dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by Orly Taitz, who was fined $20,000 for “wasting judicial resources” with her “frivolous” lawsuits.
The president was born in the Hawaii and released a certificate of live birth to prove it in June 2008.
Trump first revealed he had some doubts that Obama was a U.S. citizen during an interview with ABC News’ Ashleigh Banfield in March.
Later appearing on Fox News, he claimed that the president has not provided his birth certificate and suggested that Obama has “spent millions” trying to avoid the question.
Obama’s campaign adviser David Plouffe dismissed Trump’s claims on Sunday.
“There may be a small part of the country that believes these things, but mainstream Americans think it’s a sideshow,” he said.