This is must-watch video (after the jump) of an interview by former TPM reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro, shot on April 16th 2011. It shows a remarkably candid Donald Trump explaining how and why he saw birtherism as essentially a ticket to power. He claims credit for “reinvigorating the issue” and criticizes then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for knocking birthers because “people love this issue, especially in the Republican party.”
What’s so revealing to me about this is you see Trump’s reasoning more or less out loud. “People love this issue,” as indeed they did. Trump saw the appetite base Republicans had for racist conspiracy theories about President Obama and Trump decided to make the most of it.
A few moments later Evan pressed Trump for details about the private investigators Trump had allegedly sent to Hawaii to investigate details of Obama’s birth. Trump ended the interview.
These videos were taken just before Trump addressed the Palm Beach County Tax Day Tea Party rally, one of the early forays into politicking which led eventually to his 2016 run.