Trump Doubles Down on Birtherism

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September 15, 2016 8:42 p.m.

In an interview late Wednesday evening on the tarmac in his private jet in Canton, Ohio, Donald Trump doubled down on history of birtherism. Speaking to The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, Trump suggested he is not inclined to soften his pitch of his positions, even as he tries to appeal to voters outside of his base. He also struck a defiant tone, trumpeting his rising poll numbers, attacking CNN’s Anderson Cooper and claiming the Clinton campaign had made up the phrase ‘alt-right.’

When pressed on whether he continues to believe the long-refuted claim that President Barack Obama is not a US citizen and was not born in Hawaii, Trump replied, “I’ll answer that question at the right time. I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

From the Post

When asked whether his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was accurate when she said recently that he now believes Obama was born in this country, Trump responded: “It’s okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs. I want to focus on other things.”

He added: “I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”

Later in the interview when pressed on whether his continued birtherism “hangs” over his candidacy and efforts to build support with African-American voters, Trump replied, “I think it hangs over the reporters.”

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