— CNN (@CNN) September 16, 2016
Donald Trump was tipped to deliver his thoughts on Obama’s birth certificate and the birtherism movement today. Yes, this is really happening in 2016 while Obama’s completing his eighth year in office, and the president humorously addressed the nonsense on Friday morning. He first expressed shock, which he then replaced with mild exasperation at how some folks still question whether he was born in Hawaii, and is therefore an American citizen.
On Thursday, the Trump campaign tried their hardest (and Katrina Pierson didn’t help) to completely distance Trump from the movement despite evidence that Trump continued fueling the conspiracy theory for years. They brought the issue back to the forefront (although it never really left), and when Trump was asked to comment on Thursday, he declined to discuss the matter. He preferred to build suspense for his big Friday morning speech.
Well, Trump took the mic for a less than 30 seconds. He first blamed Hillary Clinton for birtherism and claimed that he ended birtherism (both of these statements are not true). Trump then delivered a one-sentence attempt to wipe away his enthusiastic endorsement of a fringe movement: “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”
Is that all? Not quite: “Now we want to get back to Making America Great Again.”
Trump didn’t explain, he didn’t backtrack, and he didn’t apologize.