Donald Trump aimed to push the birther argument — that President Obama was not originally born in the United States — to the forefront of the election discussion, sparring with CNN's Wolf Blitzer over the issue on Tuesday.
Talking Points Memo published a rush transcript of the interview:
BLITZER: Donald, you’re beginning to sound a little ridiculous, I have to tell you.
TRUMP: You are, Wolf. Let me tell you something, I think you sound ridiculous, and if you’d ask me a question and let me answer it.
BLITZER: Here’s the question, did the conspiracy start in 1961 where the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Advertiser contemporaneously published announcements that he was born in Hawaii?
TRUMP: Many people put those announcements in because they wanted to get the benefit because of getting so-called born in this country. Many people did it. It was something done by many people even though they weren’t born in the country. You know and I know it.
Trump also appeared on CNBC via telephone Tuesday morning, where he argued that Obama has not adequately explained his birth origins, despite the President's release of a copy of his birth certificate over a year ago, CNBC reported.
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"Nothing has changed my mind," Trump said.
Trump's skepticism reportedly stems from a recently discovered promotional booklet from Obama's former literary agency that mistakenly reported the president was born in Kenya, reigniting rumors that the President is not a natural-born American citizen.
The biography's author immediately came forward to explain that it was a simple fact-checking error, according to CNBC.
"Look, a publisher come out last week and had a statement about Obama given to them by Obama when he was doing a book as a young man, a number of years ago, in the 90s," Trump said on CNBC. "Now amazingly, the publisher is 'oh we made a mistake.'"
Trump's comments over Obama's birthplace came just hours before he was scheduled to attend an event with presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney in Las Vegas, the Atlantic reported Tuesday.
Though Romney — who is campaigning with the billionaire — distanced himself from Trump's remarks, he did not outright condemn them, the Associated Press reported.
"You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don't all agree with everything I believe in," Romney told reporters on Monday. "But I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people."
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