Acosta: Trump thinks doubting Obama’s nationality ‘helps him politically' despite calling to question his 'stability of mind’
CNN's Jim Acosta

CNN’s Jim Acosta on Wednesday explained the thought process behind Donald Trump’s decision to once again question the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, noting the claim might not be the result of the president “losing it,” but instead a calculated effort to rally his base.

“According to this source close to the White House, apparently President Trump, ever since that day when he finally acknowledged that Barack Obama was born in the United States, was questioning and has questioned since then, the politics of that decision—meaning that he feels he would have done better the November election last year had he just stood his ground and insisted that Barack Obama was not born in the United States,” Acosta said.

“He feels he would have performed even better in the polls had he stayed with that position,” the CNN reporter added.

Acosta called the detail “a remarkable insight into his mind,” noting that while some analysts have described Trump as “perhaps … kind of losing it,” it’s in fact “more tactical, that the president believes in citing some of these racially-tinged conversations around the country because he feels they help him politically.”

“This development that the president believed back then it was just the wrong political move to acknowledge that Obama was born in the United States goes to that theory,” Acosta said.

Turning to reports that the president has also started questioning the veracity of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, Acosta said a source verified that “there have been staffers whispering about this behind the scenes, that there are officials who have knowledge of the president saying this.”

“But that one very senior official behind the scenes inside the White House has been going around to colleagues assuring colleagues and staffers that no, this story is not true,” Acosta said. “So some concerns here about both of those issues that go right to the president's stability of mind tonight.”

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