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Republican presidential nominee Trump at a campaign event at the Trump global Hotel in Washington. Thomson Reuters DES MOINES, Iowa — When ultimately coming around to the truth President Barack Obama was born in the US, Donald trumped tacked ~ above a dig at his White home rival. It was Hillary Clinton, he said, who began the rumor the Obama to be born abroad."President Barack Obama was born in the joined States. Period," the Republican presidential nominee said last week, prior to quickly deflecting blame. "Hillary Clinton and also her campaign of 2008 began the birther controversy. I finished it."

But Trump"s brand-new allegation that it was all Clinton"s error is together untrue together his initial lie. The public document over the past decade undermines his attempt to blame the autonomous nominee because that the beginnings of a conspiracy trumped peddled for years.

You are watching: Hillary clinton started the birther rumor

People in Clinton"s orbit did discuss Obama"s background throughout their bitter main struggle in 2008. Yet as nasty as that project got in ~ times, that was not an anything-goes affair. And it shows up that when Clinton obtained wind the smears around Obama"s root or religion, she one of two people shut down that line of dispute or ignored it.

There is no proof that Clinton herself has ever said Obama wasn"t born in America.

Trump, meanwhile, was for the past 5 years the main propagator of the falsehood that Obama was no born in Hawaii in 1961, also though there was no significant question around Obama"s birthplace even prior to the president produced his bear certificate in 2011.

On Sunday, Trump"s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, cited three pieces of evidence to assistance her boss" case that Clinton was the original "birther."

Here"s a closer look at at proof that is dubious in ~ best, fails to tie the falsehood conclusively to Clinton, and also cannot contend with Trump"s multiyear effort to weaken the legitimacy of the nation"s very first African-American president.


The email

In one interview Sunday v CBS" "Face The Nation," Conway readily available as a first piece that evidence an email that surfaced about a month prior to the January 2008 Iowa caucuses. Obama and Clinton, then united state senators, to be at the time locked in a fierce campaign as stars atop the democratic presidential field.

Judy Rose, Clinton"s top volunteer in a rural eastern Iowa county, had forwarded the chain email to eight other Democrats. It pointed out the Kenyan ancestry and also Muslim faith of Obama"s father. Yet that email, which came to be public the complying with month, stated "Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii."

The email falsely claimed Obama was a Muslim and also equated Islam with support for overthrowing the united state government. "The Muslims have actually said they arrangement on ruining the U.S. Indigenous the within out, what better way to begin than at the highest level," the email from an anonymous author stated.

Rose quit she unpaid volunteer post, and also Clinton"s national project manager, Patti Solis Doyle, contacted her equivalent in Obama"s campaign, David Plouffe, come apologize. It was clear, Obama"s team says, that Clinton was no behind the test smear.

"Having operated on the campaign, there was no point where us felt the Hillary Clinton was pushing this rumors," said Tommy Vietor, Obama"s 2008 Iowa campaign spokesman and later a White House communications aide.

Questions about Obama"s location of bear did surface in one anonymous email in April 2008 that was circulated among some die-hard Clinton supporters, as Obama showed up headed towards the presidential nomination.

That email alleged the Obama"s US-born mom was living in Kenya late in her pregnancy, to be unable to travel, and also registered his birth in Hawaii after ~ he to be born. Over there is no evidence Clinton or her campaign team spread out it around.


united state President Barack Obama in ~ a news conference at the Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel in Vientiane, Laos, top top September 8 after attending the ASEAN Summit. connected Press/Carolyn Kaster

The memo

Conway additionally cited a memo by note Penn, Clinton"s chef pollster and also media strategist in the 2008 campaign. That cites Obama"s "Lack of American Roots" together a liability.

"His roots to simple American worths and culture are at finest limited," pen wrote, further suggesting Obama was "not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and his values." pen went on to imply Clinton attract attention to the idea "without walking negative."

In a race that had become an individual and caustic, Clinton rejected out of hand the principles that penn did present, Solis Doyle said.

"I"m not saying us didn"t project hard versus Obama," she said. "It was a hard-fought, periodically brutal campaign. However this would have delegitimized his identity. And, to us, the was beyond the pale."

It is worth noting, too, over there is no mention in the strategy proposal the Obama"s birthplace. "We are never ever going come say anything around his background — we have to present the worth of ours," pen wrote.

The associate

By one account, an important unofficial adviser to Clinton walk stoke rumors around Obama"s nation of birth. Conway cited Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal meeting the Washington bureau chief for McClatchy newspapers at the time, James Asher, and also telling that Obama to be born in Kenya.

Blumenthal has denied stating the topic with Asher, that maintains that met v the Clinton confidant. McClatchy correspondents have said it"s true Asher request them to look right into Obama"s ties to Kenya. Attempts by The linked Press to with Asher on Tuesday to be unsuccessful.

But there is no dispute that Blumenthal, if close come Clinton, was no officially component of the campaign staff. The McClatchy newspapers found nothing to assistance the case that Obama was born in Kenya.

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Nor go Clinton"s campaign stir a pot that Trump would often tend to for years.

"The "birther" thing was never an issue that mattered in any conversation, rising to the level whereby we had actually to deal with it," claimed Paul Tewes, a senior Obama campaign adviser in 2008. "In various other words, ns don"t think the Clinton campaign was the end there being malicious."