WASHINGTON — A claim from the presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts:
TRUMP: Trump sidestepped attacks about whether his past skepticism that President Barack Obama was born in the United States was racist, saying he’d raised an important question about Obama’s birth certificate and moved on. “I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country but for the president,” he said, blaming Hillary Clinton and her allies for focusing attention on Obama’s birth. Trump claimed he dropped the issue after Obama made his birth certificate public in 2011.
THE FACTS: False. As debate moderator Lester Holt correctly noted, Trump has regularly raised the same doubts about Obama’s citizenship even after the president, in an attempt to end the discussion, released his birth certificate. (Obama was born in Hawaii).
“Was it a birth certificate? You tell me,” Trump said in a 2012 interview.
“He was perhaps born in Kenya. Very simple, OK?” Trump said in 2014.
“Who knows about Obama,” Trump said in January 2016.
Trump’s claim that Hillary Clinton loyalists started the false rumor about Obama’s citizenship also doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, as the AP and other news outlets have noted. No one in Clinton’s camp publicly questioned Obama’s citizenship, and when Clinton got wind of smears about Obama’s roots or religion, she either rejected or ignored them.
EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures