After spending half a decade calling Barack Obama's citizenship into question and claiming the president's birth certificate is a "fraud," Donald Trump finally admitted during a press conference in his new Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, that Obama was born in the US after all, the Associated Press reports.
But the press conference—during which Trump answered no questions—was a bizarre spectacle. Though the official purpose of the event was to honor veterans, Trump spent a chunk of time praising his hotel rather than talking about anything connected to the campaign.
Additionally, though Trump admitted for the first time that Obama was born in the US—always a ridiculous claim—he traded his old birther lie for a new and equally unfounded narrative: that it was Hillary Clinton who originally brought Obama's citizenship into question during the 2008 primaries, and Trump helped bring the question to a close. (Conspiracy theories about Obama's birth were circulating back then, but Clinton did not help spread them.)
"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy," he told the crowd. "I finished it; I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again."
He then left the stage as reporters shouted questions at him, declining to elaborate on why it had taken him years to admit this basic fact. Shortly afterward, the stage collapsed on live TV.
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