Donald Trump’s campaign has acknowledged in a statement that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
Donald Trump had been a leader of the “birther” movement that questioned Hawaii-born Barack Obama’s citizenship.
However, the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign now accuses his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of introducing the “smear” during the 2008 Democratic nomination contest.
There is no evidence to link Hillary Clinton to the birthers.
Donald Trump campaign’s statement signed by senior Trump advisor Jason Miller is far from an admission of error.
Instead, Jason Miller laid the genesis of the birther rumors wrongfully at the feet of Hillary Clinton and her 2008 presidential campaign team.
When they raised questions, Jason Miller said, it was “vicious and conniving” behavior. By broaching the topic three years later, Donald Trump had done a “great service” to the public and president, Jason Miller said.
The statement follows an interview with the Washington Post in which Donald Trump had declined to say Barack Obama had been born in the US, saying instead that he did not want to answer the question.
The claim is a conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was actually born in Kenya and is therefore ineligible to be president.
Reports in various US publications suggest it was circulated in 2008 by die-hard supporters of Hillary Clinton as it became clear that she was not going to win the Democratic nomination.
However, there is no evidence that Hillary Clinton or her then campaign had anything to do with it.
The claim enjoyed a revival with some supporters of Republican candidate John McCain as he fell behind Barack Obama in polls, the Fact Check website reported.
Donald Trump became a vocal questioner of Barack Obama’s citizenship as he was running for a second term as president.
In April 2011, Donald Trump challenged Barack Obama to show his birth certificate, gaining approval from Republicans including former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Weeks later Barack Obama released his actual birth certificate from his native state of Hawaii. At that year’s White House correspondents dinner, President Obama made light of the allegations, mocking Donald Trump.
In 2012, Republican candidate Mitt Romney referred to the discredited theory at a campaign rally, joking that no-one had asked to see his birth certificate – drawing swift condemnation from the Obama campaign.