NBC’s Katy Tur: Any Trump Backtracking On Birther Claims Won’t Make The Issue Go Away
Tur Notes That Roger Stone Says Trump Still “Doesn’t Know” Where Obama Was Born
From the September 16 edition of MSNBC’s MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin:
KATY TUR (NBC CORRESPONDENT): I'll point to this. Roger Stone, who’s been a longtime confidant and onetime aide to Donald Trump, somebody who still has his ear, somebody who still talks to Donald Trump on a regular basis. Just did a radio show a couple of moments ago and he said, “I think the bottom line is he doesn’t know. He’s not sure. That’s not the same as ‘I’m certain the president was born either in Hawaii’ or ‘I’m certain that he was not.’”
And that is basically what we have been hearing Donald Trump say about the birther issue now for the past year. Refusing to say one way or the other whether he believes it, still, that he wasn't born here or whether he believes that he was born here. It will be very surprising for me at least having covered him for as long as I have to see Donald Trump come up say on stage and say the words, “The president of the United States was born in the United States.” I mean, to that effect, something that explicit. Because that would be the first admission that he got something wrong so far this campaign. We've heard him talk about the invasion of Iraq a number of times and he keeps saying over and over again that he was always against the invasion of Iraq even though he is on the record before the invasion expressing at least some tepid support of it. There’s no record of him expressing anything against that invasion, but he's continuing to say that. He's also talked about how he was against the idea of going into Libya and taking out Gaddafi, against the idea of taking out Mubarak in Egypt.
He's on the record for both of those things saying that he was for it. He recorded his own video blog years ago while we were in the middle of that conflict or considering getting into that conflict. And he expressed a desire to take Gaddafi out on video in his own video blog yet today he says he was never for that. So Donald Trump has not only glossed over these issues where he has been incorrect, he's outright said that he's never said things that we have video of him saying. So for him to come out and admit the birther issue he was wrong on is going to be surprising. Does it make it go away, Craig? I don't think it does. I mean, there are millions of Americans who took great offense at that and especially when it was about the first African-American president in this country and there are millions of Americans who won't just look at him today and say, “oh, gosh. You're 53 days or whatever until November 9th and now you're saying it?” There are Americans out there who will believe that this was politically expedient, that the timing is in question.
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