Trump Brought A Prominent Birther To Press Conference Renouncing His Birtherism
On Friday, Republican nominee Donald Trump rick-rolled the media by using the promise of his renouncement of birtherism to get free loads of free airtime, which he used to pimp his hotel and to show members of the military endorsing him. One of those veterans was retired Gen. Tom McInerney, who made waves in 2010 when he questioned President Obama’s authority to be Commander-In-Chief based on his citizenship.
As Talking Points Memo noted during the presser, McInerney came to prominence by filing an affidavit an affidavit on behalf of a surrogate who did not want to deploy to Afghanistan because he believed Obama was ineligible to serve as POTUS.
But back in 2010, McInerney wrote an affidavit that questioned the constitutionality of President Obama’s authority, based on the “widespread and legitimate concerns” about his birth records, TPM reported at the time.
McInerney wrote the affidavit in support of Army Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, who was refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because he did not believe Obama was a legitimate president, citing birtherism.
MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin caught up with McInerney after the event and asked him if he believed Obama was born in the US after Trump made his short remarks. Let’s just say McInerney’s response was on the sarcastic side.
Just talked to McInerney. Said Obama born in US. Why? “Because he said he was. I mean he’s never told a lie has he?” https://t.co/tPRMJcVOgX
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) September 16, 2016
Reaction to Trump’s so-called disavowing of his long-held birtherism was mixed, to say the least. While some mainstream pundits and outlets proclaimed that the real estate mogul put the matter to rest, most others said his blaming Hillary Clinton for the rise of birtherism, his patting himself on the back for ending it (despite questioning Obama’s birth for years after the release of the long-form certificate in 2011) and his refusal to take any questions settled nothing.
CNN’s Jake Tapper, for one, excoriated him for spreading lies in his statement and not owning up to his own role in fueling the conspiracy theory for years. An angry Tapper, in response to Trump saying he ended birtherism in 2011, noted “it was a crackpot conspiracy theory. Donald Trump fueled it. And then after Barack Obama released his birth certificate, Donald Trump said that it was fraudulent or suggested that it was fraudulent. And he kept up this birther nonsense long after 2011.”
In the end, Trump didn’t put anything to rest, he brought a birther to his ‘britherism is dead’ event, and he still has allies claiming Obama was born in a foreign country.