Lest anyone forget, Trump began his political career in the national spotlight with his racist birther campaign, which he used to stoke white fears of a black president. Many of those who sat in Trump’s audiences as he predicted the doomsday consequences of Obama’s true Kenyan birth still believe those lies today and are not bothered by the new president’s endlessly racist comments today because he speaks with their own voice.
While Trump insisted that “a very credible source” had assured him that Obama’s real birth certificate stated that he was born in Africa and not in Hawaii, he was apparently trying to find a real source he could point to in order to prove his ridiculous theories. James O’Keefe, the face of Project Veritas who pleaded guilty to a crime in 2010 thanks to his “guerilla” tactics, says that Trump offered in 2013 to send him on a mission to break into Columbia University to illegally obtain Obama’s college records.
O’Keefe explained in his upcoming book that Trump “suggested O’Keefe infiltrate Columbia and obtain the sealed records: ‘Nobody else can get this information,’ O’Keefe quoted Trump as saying. ‘Do you think you could get inside Columbia?'”
The Project Veritas founder says he turned Trump’s offer down, saying that his organization wasn’t “in that line of work.” As the two men parted, O’Keefe says that Trump tried once again to convince him, perhaps believing that he needed to be slightly more covert to get his offer accepted.
‘[Trump] suspected Obama had presented himself as a foreign student on application materials to ease his way into New York’s Columbia University, maybe even Harvard too, and perhaps picked up a few scholarships along the way…Trump shook my hand, encouraged me to keep up the good work, and half-whispered, “Do Columbia.”‘
For the record, Obama’s place of birth did not disqualify him from the presidency. His mother, Ann Dunham, was an American citizen and no matter where she gave birth, President Obama was born an American citizen as a result. John McCain, Obama’s political rival during his first run in 2008, was born outside the United States, as well, as his military father was stationed in Panama at the time.
The truth, however, is that Obama was born in Hawaii, in the United States, and the entire birther controversy was in itself a hoax.
Second, the claim that President Obama applied as a “foreign student” to any university has already been debunked. Trump’s fact-finding mission would have proved nothing except that his audience’s racist fears had been confirmed.
Facts, however, rarely matter to Trump’s rabid fan base. Any argument presented to them that confirms their racial biases, particularly those against their evil, socialist/communist/Hitler President Obama, is something they are more than willing to believe. That is exactly how Donald Trump got elected and the world is a sorrier place for it.
The criminal implications behind Trump’s offers to pay for stolen college records have not yet been analyzed.
Featured image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla