JAKE TAPPER: “Well, just as a point of fact, again, Donald Trump did not accept when Barack Obama released his birth certificate in 2011. He kept up this whole birther thing until Friday. That’s five years. But we only have a little time left. So, I want to ask you…”
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-N.J.): “No, but, Jake, that’s just not true. It’s not true that he kept it up for five years.”
TAPPER: “Sure, he did.”
CHRISTIE: “It’s simply not true.”
TAPPER: “It is true.”
CHRISTIE: “It wasn’t like he was talking — no, Jake, it wasn’t like — it wasn’t like he was talking about it on a regular basis until then.”
— Exchange on CNN”s “State of the Union,” Sept. 18, 2016
This is why Americans hate politics. A sitting governor goes on national television and when he is called out for an obvious falsehood, he simply repeats the inaccurate talking points over and over.
This will possibly be our shortest fact check ever.
After Donald Trump raised the bogus birther issue in 2011, while testing the waters for a presidential run, President Obama released his long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011. Yet Trump refused to take that as an acceptable response. Here are some of his tweets:
An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama‘s birth certificate is a fraud.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2013
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2014
Slate magazine counted nearly 40 Trump tweets since 2011 that raise questions about Obama’s birth.
Even after Trump starting running for president last year, he continued to question the president’s background in television interviews.
In August 2015, Trump earned Four Pinocchios for falsely claiming that Obama spent $4 million to keep his college records hidden. He made this statement while deflecting a question about his birther comments that left in doubt his position on whether the president was a natural-born U.S. citizen: “Well, I don’t like talking about it anymore because, honestly, I have my own feelings.” Trump, like many of his surrogates, also falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton or her 2008 campaign originated the birther controversy.
Not until Friday — Sept. 16, 2016 — did Trump firmly say he believed Obama was born in the United States. But he did not apologize — and he again falsely accused Clinton of starting the controversy.
The Pinocchio Test
This is such bogus spin that we have to wonder how Christie manages to say it with a straight face. Regular readers know we shy away from using the word “lie,” but clearly Christie is either lying or he is so misinformed that he has no business appearing on television.
Kudos to Tapper for refusing to let Christie get away with it.
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