As most of you know, Trump refused to denounce birtherism in a recent interview with the Washington Post. He gave every impression of still believing that Barack Obama was born outside of the United States.
Belatedly realizing that this stance would do him political harm, Trump issued a statement which tries to pin the blame on -- you guessed it -- Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton’s campaign first raised this issue to smear then-candidate Barack Obama in her very nasty, failed 2008 campaign for President. This type of vicious and conniving behavior is straight from the Clinton Playbook. As usual, however, Hillary Clinton was too weak to get an answer. Even the MSNBC show Morning Joe admits that it was Clinton’s henchmen who first raised this issue, not Donald J. Trump.
In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised.
Before proceeding, we should first note that Trump probably wrote this statement himself; the style sure seems
Trumpy. (Maybe it was written by "John Barron"...?) Since Donald Trump certainly bears personal responsibility for these words
, I feel comfortable referring to him as the author.
In an earlier piece, I demonstrated at some length that Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign had nothing to do with the growth of the birther mythos
. I can lay claim to some expertise here, since this humble blog played a fairly prominent role in the PUMA movement. Throughout that year, my ear was keenly attuned to all of the latest anti-Obama scuttlebutt.
It's simple. Nobody
in PUMA-land heard the Big Lie about Obama's birth certificate until August. At that point, the Clinton campaign was shut down.
Understand? There was no Clinton campaign when birtherism became a matter of public discussion.
Hillary had conceded in June. By August, she was giving speeches on behalf of Obama. The chronology proves Trump a liar.
As I have demonstrated in my earlier posts, birtherism began (IN AUGUST) with a small conspiracy of rightwingers who had infiltrated the PUMA movement in order to sow dissent among the Democrats. (These infiltrators spread other myths, such as the "Whitey" rumor.) The real
PUMA writers -- Riverdaughter, Kat Huff, the late Lori Starfelt -- never promulgated the birther myth. In fact, Lori was the one who found Obama's birth announcement in an old Hawaiian newspaper.
We should be very clear on one point: None of these people can fairly be described as Hillary's "henchman" -- not the fake PUMAs like Larry Johnson and not the real PUMAs like Riverdaughter. They all stood well outside
the Hillary campaign. I can assure you that nobody from the Clinton campaign ever contacted me -- hell, they would not even return my calls or emails. Hillary kept the entire PUMA movement at a rather severe distance.
But that's not all. Trump transforms his Big Lie into a HUUUUUGE Lie.
Trump links to a document which -- he claims -- proves his contention that the 2008 Clinton campaign begat the birther mythos. At the other end of that link you will find a genuine Clinton campaign document written in 2007 by Mark Penn
(Hillary's campaign manager), in which Penn outlines potential strategies to be used against rival candidate Barack Obama.
Trump is hoping that most people won't bother to read the text. I, of course, did.
There is nothing -- nothing nothing NOTHING
-- in that document which suggests that Penn wanted to spread rumors about Barack Obama's citizenship.
Instead, Penn offers very predictable lines of attack. Not one of his proposed actions can fairly be described as "fighting dirty." Penn's missive contains absolutely nothing that one would not expect to see in such a document.
Yet Trump wants his followers to believe that this text contains "proof" that birtherism began with Hillary Clinton!
Donald Trump is a goddamned liar
, and it's about time for the mainstream media to use that word.
This man lies and lies and LIES. Gore Vidal once said of Richard Nixon: "He lies even when there is no need to. That is the mark of a true artist." Trump lies far more compulsively, yet he lacks all artistry: He is simply a brute, as thuggish as he is delusional.
Trump says that "Morning Joe" ascribed birtherism to the Clinton campaign. I don't know precisely what was said on Joe Scarborough's broadcast, but it's a live show in which Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski speak off-the-cuff. Inevitably, they get things wrong from time to time. Donald Trump can hardly disagree with the previous sentence, since he has been waging his own Twitter war with the Morning Joe
show. (How odd for Trump to cite that
I know very well when and how birtherism arrived on the scene in 2008. I was very engaged throughout that period: When it came to anti-Obama scuttlebutt, nothing escaped my notice. The moment questions arose about the birth certificate on Larry Johnson's site No Quarter, I mounted an elaborate and rather technical counterargument.
In earlier posts, I have proven the point through the citation of hard evidence: Birtherism began after Hillary shut down her campaign and joined Team Obama.
Joe Scarborough or anyone else says differently, they should first do the necessary research.
There are many other inanities in Donald Trump's bizarre statement. I cannot believe that this deranged individual actually won the nomination.
Another added note:
Just now, a reader stated -- without citing a source -- that the allegation began "during the NC or SC primary." There is no proof for this. "The View" cited Politifact to the effect that the allegation began with Hillary's supporters, not the campaign. There is no proof for that claim, either.
I just spent some time checking the sequence of events. Politifact cites an April 27, 2011 piece in The Telegraph -- an article which claims that an anonymous Hillary supporter circulated THE original "birther" claim in an email in April of 2008. At that time, the campaign was still underway, although it was well after the primaries in the Carolinas.
I did not receive this email, and I was on all sorts of pro-Clinton mailing lists at the time. I never heard of it until years later. I question its very existence.
The Telegraph article derived from a Politico article published on a April 22, 2011
. This piece cites snopes.com as a source of information.
So I looked it up on Snopes. They have three articles which debunk the "Birther" myth -- here
, and here
. Not one of those articles mentions anything about an email that circulated in April of 2008.
One article publishes an anonymous email which circulated in June of 2008, when Hillary shut down her campaign.
Needless to say, even if there was an email circulating in April, Hillary cannot be held responsible for it. Anyone
(up to and including Roger Stone) might have been responsible. The PUMA folk all signed their work; we did not traffic in anonymous defamatory claims.
Again: I was on all sorts of pro-Hillary and anti-Obama mailing lists throughout 2008. Not only that, people were sending me all sorts of stuff -- conventional stuff, wild stuff, everything-in-between stuff. This blog was popular among the PUMA contingent. At that time, I read everything -- meaning everything
-- that could help the cause.
I saw NO hint of the "birther" allegation while Hillary's campaign was ongoing.
The true origin point of birtherism was a lawsuit brought in AUGUST by a weirdo conspiracy buff named Philip Berg, previously known for his gonzo work on 9/11. Berg was not a "Hillary supporter" -- he is better described as a supporter of kookiness-in-general. (I suspect that he supports Trump now, since Trump loves all things conspiratorial.) Berg was never part of the Hillary campaign. I never encountered a "true PUMA" who viewed him with anything other than contempt or bemusement. However, the fake PUMAs -- Larry Johnson, Texas Darlin', and other Republican wolves-in-sheep's-clothing -- soon glommed onto Berg's bizarre lawsuit. (TexasDarlin' was always
a right-wing creep; she later worked with Joe Arpaio.)
Again: This was in AUGUST, well after Hillary shut down her campaign.
For more, see here
. That piece exposes how the Fox News liars -- especially Roger Stone -- spread the false rumor that Hillary Clinton had a connection with birtherism. She did not