Riding high on poll numbers that suggest he’s a legitimate player in the 2012 Republican presidential nomination race, Donald Trump took to the NBC airwaves Thursday morning to make a promise to the American people: he’s going to figure out once and for all if President Obama was born in the United States.
Trump’s flirtation with and eventual marriage to birtherism has been a nagging part of the political landscape for weeks now, horrifying (and/or amusing) progressives and riling up the GOP’s tea party base. Now Trump’s promised to go from the man who re-raised the question everyone else answered in 2008 to the one who re-answers it once and for all. And he says he’s going to do it in the next few weeks.
On NBC’s Today this morning, Trump said he’s dispatched investigators to Hawaii — where Obama was born — to suss out the details of what he says he’s increasingly convinced is one of the biggest political conspiracies in American history.
“I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” Trump told Today’s Meredith Viera.
Trump said he’s not out to get Obama, just the truth about what the State of Hawaii has already said is the truth: On August 4, 1961, Obama was born in a Honolulu hospital.
“I’d like him to show his birth certificate,” Trump said on Today. “Can I be honest with you? I hope he can. If he can’t, if he can’t, if he wasn’t born in this country, and i’m not saying it’s a real possibility. But it’s much greater than two or three weeks ago, then he’s pulled one of the greatest cons in the history of politics and beyond.”
Later in the morning, Trump was grilled about his Today appearance when he made a surprise call into MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Panelists Donnie Deutsch and former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) grilled Trump about his birtherism, and Trump again promised to reveal the truth about Obama’s birth before the summer heat comes.
Trump promises an audio tape from Obama’s paternal grandmother that will prove he’s been lying all along:
His grandmother in Kenya said, ‘Oh, no, he was born in Kenya and I was there and I witnessed the birth.’ She’s on tape. I think that tape’s going to be produced fairly soon. Somebody is coming out with a book in two weeks, it will be very interesting.
Watch (Trump’s call comes at about the 8 minute mark):