It has been a year since Donald Trump put his role in the birther controversy to rest in the days leading up to Election 2016. Before the leak of the Access Hollywood tape that almost derailed his electoral victory, Trump took the stage to firmly declare that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.” He did try to initially blame Hillary Clinton for starting the controversy and refused to apologize for his role in the conspiracy theory, but he at least closed the book on the issue at the time.
Now he has reportedly opened it back up alongside his claims that it is not him in the Access Hollywood tape and that he actually won the popular vote, only appearing to lose it due to voter fraud. According to a report by The New York Times, the president has reversed his public stand on his predecessor’s birth certificate and is still questioning its authenticity behind closed doors:
In recent months, they say, Mr. Trump has used closed-door conversations to question the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. He has also repeatedly claimed that he lost the popular vote last year because of widespread voter fraud, according to advisers and lawmakers.
One senator who listened as the president revived his doubts about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate chuckled on Tuesday as he recalled the conversation. The president, he said, has had a hard time letting go of his claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States. The senator asked not to be named to discuss private conversations.