Where Was Donald Trump Born?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 29 2011 8:09 AM

Where Was Donald Trump Born?

I keep underrating the interest people have in birtherism, because, seriously, we're two years and two months into the Obama presidency and I keep expecting it to end. But Donald Trump decided to go even harder on his campaign for the Truth About Obama's citizenship and gave this document to Newsmax -- whose Ron Kessler, remember, takes credit for inspiring the Trump campaign.

 

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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The Smoking Gun points out the not-so-obvious : This is not a "long-form birth certificate," the proof of citizenship that birthers demand from Barack Obama. It's a copy of the certificate from the hospital that features contemporary signatures from physicians. How's this different from the certification of live birth that Barack Obama provided on FightTheSmears.com in 2008? Obama's certification was a state document (there was a long, tedious, and unsuccessful effort to prove that it was forged), but didn't contain contemporary signatures or a baby's footprint. Trump's certificate is from the hospital, not the state, so it's not really an official document.

Are you seeing now how stupid and complicated this stuff is? Okay.

Trump can obviously clear this up if he provides everything Barack Obama's provided to the press, and everything he's demanded from Obama. This would be:

- Two (or more) contemporary newspaper announcements confirming that Donald Trump was born in the United States. (Two of these exist for Barack Obama.)

- A certification of live birth produced by the state Trump was born, verified by hand by reporters. (FactCheck.org verified Obama's certification in 2008.)

- A picture of the young Donald Trump and or/interviews with people who knew him.

Hey, I didn't dig this rabbit hole. Trump decided to jump down it.

UPDATE: I'd missed Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman's reporting on this , which confirms that this is unofficial and adds some solid gold snark.

Trump's mother, it should be noted, was born in Scotland, which is not part of the United States. His plane is registered in the Bahamas, also a foreign country. This fact pattern -- along with the wave of new questions surrounding what he claims is a birth certificate -- raises serious doubts about his eligibility to serve as President of the United States.

One of the Orthodox birther* arguments that Obama can not be president is that his father was Kenyan, which made the son a citizen of the British Commonwealth at birth. If that held true for Trump, then obviously he would be ineligible.

*Orthodox birthers are those who say there is no way Obama can be eligible for the presidency; Reform birthers say they simply don't know.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.