Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump finally acknowledged at a press conference Friday that President Obama was born in the U.S. At the same time, Trump is seeking to pin the long-running conspiracy theory that Obama is not a U.S. citizen on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
.@realDonaldTrump: "President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period." pic.twitter.com/Ek0Jmk9Cfz— POLITICO (@politico) September 16, 2016
Trump told reporters at the Washington Post earlier this week, after being pressed again about his infamous claim that Obama is not a U.S. citizen, that he'd respond "at the right time." His campaign released a statement shortly following publication of that interview that Trump "believes that President Obama was born in the United States."
The right time seemed to be a press conference Friday at the newest addition to the Trump International Hotel chain in Washington, D.C. You can watch a video of the speech below.
"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period," Trump told those gathered.
Trump has told CNN's Wolf Blitzer as recently as January of this year that he didn't know if President Obama's birth certificate was real.
“Who knows,” he told Blitzer when asked if he believes Obama is a citizen. “Who knows? Who cares right now? We’re talking about something else, OK. I mean, I have my own theory on Obama. Someday I’ll write a book. I’ll do another book, and it will do very successfully.”
Hillary Clinton responded to Trump's statements Friday afternoon, calling his words "a disgrace."
"Expressing zero regret for years of pushing a racist conspiracy theory, Trump again appointed himself judge and jury on President Obama's citizenship," Clinton wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. "Leading the birther movement is deplorable. Attempting to say it 'did a great service' to the president who Trump attacked is asinine. When Trump tries to deflect blame for denying that President Obama was born in America, he is lying."