Has Trump Really Sent Investigators After Obama’s Birth Certificate?

Justin Elliott writes at Salon:

Donald Trump’s claim that he dispatched private investigators to Hawaii to look into President Obama’s birth has been repeatedly printed as fact in the media despite zero evidence that he has done any such thing.

Here, for example, is how CNN is playing Trump’s comments, which he made Thursday on the “Today” show:

The CNN lead goes like this:

Self-proclaimed birther Donald Trump is now so doubtful of President Obama’s birthplace that he’s sent a team of his own investigators to Hawaii in hopes of getting to the bottom of the issue.

That’s according to Trump himself, who, in an interview with NBC, warned his investigators just might uncover “one of the greatest cons in the history of politics and beyond.”

This is stenographic journalism at its worst. The problem is that Trump has historically not been a credible source. He has a history of making disputed claims about his net worth as well as perennially flirting with presidential candidacies before reliably pulling out. (And, of course, he is now trumpeting the debunked conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the U.S.)

If media organizations must report Trump’s claim about sending investigators to Hawaii , they should make it very clear that he has offered no evidence. In the “Today” show interview, Trump said, “I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding.” Asked by Meredith Vieira if he meant he has people in Hawaii, he said: “Absolutely.”

The tale has been reported widely, and generally without any scrutiny. Here’s the Daily News: “Donald Trump, wannabe President: I’ve sent investigators to Hawaii to look into Obama’s citizenship.” Fox News: “Trump Sends Investigators to Hawaii.” The Australian: “Donald Trump detectives delve into President Barack Obama’s birth.” Trump’s claim was also repeated by ABC and the New York Times and others.

The irony here is that at the same time Trump is demanding evidence about Obama’s birth (which exists in ample quantities), he is making an evidence-free claim that has been mindlessly repeated in the media.

Read more here.

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  • Mamagriff50

    Puleeze….Donald, quit trying to distract people from the real news. The budget, the war, nuclear crisis etc… Climb back under your hair rug and shut the hel* up.

  • Mamagriff50

    Puleeze….Donald, quit trying to distract people from the real news. The budget, the war, nuclear crisis etc… Climb back under your hair rug and shut the hel* up.

  • Hadrian999

    if the proof hasn’t been found yet i doubt it exists, how long has the entire republican party and every teaparty member been looking for it?

  • Hadrian999

    if the proof hasn’t been found yet i doubt it exists, how long has the entire republican party and every teaparty member been looking for it?

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Isn’t it ironic that “The Donald” who is so rich financially, can’t seem to buy a clue?

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it ironic that “The Donald” who is so rich financially, can’t seem to buy a clue?

  • AAA

    Here’s what you deniers can’t answer.

    Where is the long-form birth certificate that shows the hospital name, mother, father, and attending physician?

    Because no one has seen that one.

    • Andrew

      Irrelevent. His mother was a citizen, therefore he is a citizen, and we know he was born in Hawaii because there is a certificate of live birth (which is good enough for anyone not trying to prove something they have no evidence for) and a newspaper of the time announced his birth. Case closed.

      Here’s what you birthers can’t answer: What would be the purpose and effect of the delusional conspiracy you’ve dreamed up? The Global Socialist Cabal couldn’t find a native born sweet-talking anti-american communist negro to run for office and beat PTSD McCain and Miss Duck Hunt Alaska?

  • AAA

    Here’s what you deniers can’t answer.

    Where is the long-form birth certificate that shows the hospital name, mother, father, and attending physician?

    Because no one has seen that one.

  • Jim

    You should be asking about why Obama has a social security number from a connecticut woman that was born in 1890?

    Yep, Obama has someone elses social security number. How did that happen?

    Social secuirty numbers are issued in the state that you reside. Obama never lived in Connecticut.
    Also, social security numbers are not reused.

    So what is Obama doing with a dead woman’s social security number?
    Answer: If you weren’t born here and you were naturalized here, then you have to steal a dead persons social security number to make yourself appear legit.

    Trump needs to talk about the social security number fraud.

    • Bud Bundy

      Wow. Did the aliens tell you that?

  • Jim

    You should be asking about why Obama has a social security number from a connecticut woman that was born in 1890?

    Yep, Obama has someone elses social security number. How did that happen?

    Social secuirty numbers are issued in the state that you reside. Obama never lived in Connecticut.
    Also, social security numbers are not reused.

    So what is Obama doing with a dead woman’s social security number?
    Answer: If you weren’t born here and you were naturalized here, then you have to steal a dead persons social security number to make yourself appear legit.

    Trump needs to talk about the social security number fraud.

  • Bud Bundy

    Wow. Did the aliens tell you that?

  • Bud Bundy

    The questions aren’t where he was born on Earth… BUT WHERE IN THE COSMOS?

    SPACE LIZARD / Queen of the Borg 2012

  • Bud Bundy

    The questions aren’t where he was born on Earth… BUT WHERE IN THE COSMOS?

    SPACE LIZARD / Queen of the Borg 2012

  • Simiantongue

    He’s got top men on it.

    Who?

    Top…

    …men. Knowing look O o
    ~

  • Simiantongue

    He’s got top men on it.

    Who?

    Top…

    …men. Knowing look O o
    ~

  • Hadrian999

    In all seriousness the Tea Party folks should just throw away the matter of the birth certificate weather they are correct or not, in politics truth is irrelevant the only thing that matters is perception, perception becomes reality and the perception is that “birthers” are loony fringe racist wackjobs, nothing short of a smoking gun will change this and that probably wouldn’t work either. The main reason to abandon the birther narrative is that it isn’t needed, there are plenty of policy issues to attack obama on, challenges to his eligibility hurt opponents more than they help them.

  • Hadrian999

    In all seriousness the Tea Party folks should just throw away the matter of the birth certificate weather they are correct or not, in politics truth is irrelevant the only thing that matters is perception, perception becomes reality and the perception is that “birthers” are loony fringe racist wackjobs, nothing short of a smoking gun will change this and that probably wouldn’t work either. The main reason to abandon the birther narrative is that it isn’t needed, there are plenty of policy issues to attack obama on, challenges to his eligibility hurt opponents more than they help them.

  • Obama’s Handler

    When it is proven Obama is not eligible will all you libtards that deny and defy logic off yourselves?

    PLEASE

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580380351 Potter Dee

      Would you mind learning proper English, or go back to what ever gobbly-gook speaking country your ancestors came form?

    • Hadrian999

      wouldn’t a victory based on defeating him on political and ideological grounds be more rewarding?
      if i were a republican strategist i wouldn’t want obama declared ineligible, he is heavily damaged and has basically ruined his grass roots network by stabbing them all in the back, that is the kind of opponent you want not a fresh one without failures to weigh him down.

  • Obama’s Handler

    When it is proven Obama is not eligible will all you libtards that deny and defy logic off yourselves?

    PLEASE

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580380351 Potter Dee

    Would you mind learning proper English, or go back to what ever gobbly-gook speaking country your ancestors came form?

  • Andrew

    Irrelevent. His mother was a citizen, therefore he is a citizen, and we know he was born in Hawaii because there is a certificate of live birth (which is good enough for anyone not trying to prove something they have no evidence for) and a newspaper of the time announced his birth. Case closed.

    Here’s what you birthers can’t answer: What would be the purpose and effect of the delusional conspiracy you’ve dreamed up? The Global Socialist Cabal couldn’t find a native born sweet-talking anti-american communist negro to run for office and beat PTSD McCain and Miss Duck Hunt Alaska?

  • Hadrian999

    wouldn’t a victory based on defeating him on political and ideological grounds be more rewarding?
    if i were a republican strategist i wouldn’t want obama declared ineligible, he is heavily damaged and has basically ruined his grass roots network by stabbing them all in the back, that is the kind of opponent you want not a fresh one without failures to weigh him down.

  • maniaroma

    I can’t beleive this is still going on.They just passed a new law you can come to Hawaii and look at Obama’s birth certificate for $100. . There is really nothing to investigate. If he has any type of birth certificate fom a state obviously he must be a citiczn because foreigneres don’t have American birth certificates they have foreign birth certificates. How could the state of Hawaii charge people $100 to show people a birth certificate that they don’t have?
    What no one seems to realize is that the constitution is just a guidline the real power is with the people. The fact that the majority of eligable Americans voted for Obama is what makes him eligible to be president not where he was born. If you don’t beleive me ask someone is congress.

  • Maniaroma

    I can’t beleive this is still going on.They just passed a new law you can come to Hawaii and look at Obama’s birth certificate for $100. . There is really nothing to investigate. If he has any type of birth certificate fom a state obviously he must be a citiczn because foreigneres don’t have American birth certificates they have foreign birth certificates. How could the state of Hawaii charge people $100 to show people a birth certificate that they don’t have?
    What no one seems to realize is that the constitution is just a guidline the real power is with the people. The fact that the majority of eligable Americans voted for Obama is what makes him eligible to be president not where he was born. If you don’t beleive me ask someone is congress.

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