By fiat on Friday, Donald Trump declared that the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s birthplace was over. Before a promotional event for his Washington, D.C., hotel, Trump finally acknowledged that the president was born in America. And then he declared an end to the story.
Of course, it’s not the end, as Trump did little to explain just what it was in the past few years, months or days that finally led him to concede Obama’s American citizenship. Nor did he apologize for continuing to stoke the conspiracy theory even after Obama produced a certificate of birth and then a long-form birth certificate.
But lest people put the onus for an apology entirely on Trump, it’s important to remember many others perpetuated this conspiracy and that elected Republicans did little to tamp it down. In fact, many of them, including leadership, carefully danced around the topic; others insisted the questions were legitimate; and others literally ran away from it rather than condemn it.
All of this was captured by Mike Stark, a longtime blogger and videographer, in a must-rewatch video he did for The Huffington Post in 2009.
And here’s Part Two, with a cameo by current vice presidential candidate Mike Pence decidedly affirming that Obama was born in the United States (around minute 4):