WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama lampooned the controversy over his birthplace, playing a clip from the Disney movie “The Lion King” to mock those who claim he was not American born.
“My fellow Americans… ” Obama, who was born is the US state of Hawaii from a US mother, said at a dinner of White House correspondents.
“Call Disney if you don’t believe me,” he said, in a reference to conservative conspiracy theories that Obama is not a “natural born” US citizen, a constitutional requirement for presidential eligibility.
Obama directed his humor at real estate mogul Donald Trump, a 2012 Republican presidential hopeful who expressed serious doubts about Obama’s citizenship.
“Now I know that he has taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this matter to rest than Donald,” Obama said of Trump.
The president jokingly advised Trump to “get back to focusing on the issues that matter like ‘Did we fake the Moon landing?’ ‘What really happened at Roswell?” and ‘Where are Biggie and Tupac?'”
The Roswell incident occurred in 1947 when an strange flying object that crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell, New Mexico. The military, which quickly cordoned off the site of the crash, said it was an experimental weather balloon, while others insist to this day it was an extra-terrestrial spacecraft with alien occupants.
Biggie and Tupac refers to a 2002 documentary film probing the deaths of rap music icons Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.
Obama’s tone at the annual White House Correspondent’s dinner, was much lighter than his remarks earlier in the week when he pleaded with opponents and the media to stop fixating on the issue of his birthplace, saying America had more important things to concentrate on.
Trump, who is mulling a Republican presidential run — though is seen by some serious political observers as a clownish candidate — went to the star-studded gala dinner as a guest of The Washington Post.
The dinner, in the cavernous underground ballroom of Washington’s Hilton hotel offers an annual chance for the heavy hitters of the US capital’s staid world of journalism to hobnob with Hollywood royalty.
Top Tinseltown stars at this year’s dinner included Jon Hamm, star of the hit show set in the hard drinking world of New York’s 1960s advertising industry and actor Sean Penn.