MSNBC host Chris Matthews pushed Donald Trump to admit Tuesday night that he was wrong to advocate the discredited birther theory that Barack Obama isn't legally president because he was allegedly not born in the United States.
"Is Donald Trump honest when he says that Barack Obama isn't a legitimate president?" Matthews asked after the GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas.
"I don't talk about that anymore," Trump replied.
He no longer answers that question, he said, because if he does, "it's all people talk about."
"I don't want to answer that question," the real estate mogul repeatedly insisted. If he were to win the presidency, he said, then he would address the matter.
Trump first tried to cast doubt on Obama's birthplace in 2011, leading the White House to publish an official copy of the president's birth certificate as proof that Obama was born in Hawaii. Still, Trump questioned the document's authenticity.
After Tuesday's interview ended, Matthews continued berating Trump, slamming his unwillingness to apologize for his birther claims as a "blemish" and an "original sin."
"Our president should be respected," Matthews said. "I don't like it."
Trump has refused to respond to similar questions before. He told NBC News' Chuck Todd that he no longer discusses birtherism in September.
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