|Andy Martin, self proclaimed "King of the Birthers."|
After years of denying the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency, it was only in the midst of his own presidential campaign that Donald Trump began falsely claiming Hillary Clinton was the true progenitor of the “birther” conspiracy theory claiming Obama was not born in the United States.
But that’s swapping one discredited claim for another. Numerous fact checks, reports and interviews — in 2008 and 2011, when Trump revived the controversy — revealed that although some Clinton supporters circulated rumors about Obama’s citizenship, the campaign and Clinton herself never trafficked in it.
“There has never been evidence that Clinton or her campaign started the birther rumors,” said Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed, who as a POLITICO reporter in 2011 linked the origin of the “birther” movement to a fringe politician in Illinois. Some hardcore Clinton backers circulated the rumors in 2008, but the campaign itself steered clear.
“As we reported, some of her supporters flirted with the idea in 2008 — but it has its origins in the fever swamps beginning in Illinois in 2004,” he said.
In fact, birtherism, as it’s been called, reportedly began with innuendo by serial Illinois political candidate Andy Martin, who painted Obama as a closet Muslim in 2004. That spiraled into a concerted effort by conspiracy theorists to raise doubts about Obama’s birthplace and religion — and essentially paint him as un-American.
In fact Martin was so proud of his attempts to question the legitimacy of the Obama presidency, that he referred to himself as "The King of the Birthers."
But ultimately it really doesn't matter.
Even IF the birther thing had been started with the Clinton 2008 campaign, which it was not, the fact remains that it was Donald Trump that pushed it into the national spotlight, and Donald Trump who refused to accept the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate even years after it was produced for the media.
So for Trump to attempt to blame all of this on Hillary is incredibly pathetic and indicative of a man who simply lacks the character to take responsibility for his actions and his mistakes.