President Donald Trump is reportedly reviving the racist “birther” conspiracy theory, which claims that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.
Trump has been questioning Obama’s birth certificate in “closed-door conversations,” according to The New York Times, which cited an unnamed senator as being part of one such discussion.
The newspaper reported:
“Mr. Trump’s journeys into the realm of manufactured facts have been frequent enough that his own staff has sought to nudge friendly lawmakers to ask questions of Mr. Trump in meetings that will steer him toward safer terrain.”
Trump was for years one of the leading voices in the birther movement, a racist conspiracy theory that questioned the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president.
He dropped the issue toward the end of the presidential campaign last year.
“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” he said in September, then he blamed his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for the conspiracy theory, a claim that has been debunked.
He never apologized to Obama for spending years questioning both his place of birth and eligibility to be president with statements such as this one:
Obama was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961. Two Honolulu newspapers printed birth announcements at the time, and Obama has released both his “short-form” and “long-form” birth certificates.
The report comes days after the paper said Trump was privately suggesting that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape is a fake. That’s the recording released last year in which he bragged about grabbing women by the genitals.
“When you’re a star … you can do anything … grab them by the pussy,” Trump said.
He apologized for his comments last year but also dismissed them as “locker-room talk.”
In its latest report, the Times said Trump is also blaming fraud for the fact that he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.