Donald Trump Can’t Stop Lying About His Birther Past

Trump shows that Clinton didn’t start the birther movement he made famous.

Tom Williams/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

When Donald Trump tried to pin the birther movement on Hillary Clinton during his Friday announcement, the media jumped in to factcheck, pointing out that he was rewriting history. Late Friday afternoon, the Trump campaign sent a press release to reporters in an attempt to back up its claims—but instead it only contradicted the GOP candidate’s entire argument.

Trump’s “evidence” was laughably lackluster. The campaign pointed to a Friday CNN interview with Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, in which she said when a low-level volunteer coordinator with the campaign sent an email advancing the birther conspiracy, the Clinton campaign immediately fired the person. Solis Doyle couldn’t even recall if the person, a volunteer-coordinator, was a paid staffer or a volunteer.

So basically, Clinton fired someone who spread the birther conspiracy, therefore, in Trump’s mind, it’s all Hillary’s fault. Meanwhile, Trump himself spent years claiming the first African-American president was illegitimate and Obama was lying about his place of birth. And once Obama did release his longform birth certificate in 2011, it still didn’t satisfy Trump. He spent the subsequent years calling it a fake—making vague suggestions that Obama might have even killed elected officials to hide a cover up. “A lot of people don’t agree with that birth certificate,” Trump said in 2012. “A lot of people do not think it’s authentic.”





Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend