Trump aide says release of unofficial birth certificate an 'oversight'
Trump released this document to the website Newsmax.com. It is a hospital birthing record, not a birth certificate.
March 29th, 2011
12:22 PM ET
3 years ago

Trump aide says release of unofficial birth certificate an 'oversight'

(CNN) - A top aide to Donald Trump is sharply refuting suggestions of hypocrisy in response to the media mogul's release of an unofficial document of his birth only hours after chastising President Obama for failing to produce his official birth certificate.

"I can assure you, Mr. Trump is a U.S. citizen," Trump aide and lawyer Michael Cohen told CNN. "He is only asking for the president to do what the president said he would do – release his birth certificate."

The improbable presidential candidate set off charges of hypocrisy Monday after he provided what he claimed was a copy of his birth certificate to the conservative website Newsmax.com. The release of the document came the same day he told Fox News he keeps his birth certificate "on my desk" and would gladly provide it.

"It took me one hour to get my birth certificate," Trump told Newsmax. "It's inconceivable that, after four years of questioning, the president still hasn't produced his birth certificate."

But, as reported by the website The Smoking Gun and confirmed by Cohen, the document Trump released is in fact not an official birth certificate – instead it is a hospital "birthing record," Cohen says. Hospitals generally provide such documents, signed by administrators, for families upon the birth of a child but they do not count as official birth certificate, which is released by state agencies.

Cohen said the release of the incorrect document was merely an "oversight" that he is sure it will be corrected.

"In order to rectify the oversight, I am sure he will either find his original birth certificate or order another one and release it," Cohen said.

He also applauded Trump for having the hospital's birthing record, a document he says is rare for people to hold on to.

"It's incredible he has that," Cohen said. "I know I don't have mine."

In 2008, the Obama campaign produced a certification of live birth that reports his birthplace as Honolulu, Hawaii – a document the Hawaii government says is official evidence of his birth in the state. Current Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie vowed to produce an original copy of Obama's birth certificate but abandoned those efforts earlier this year because it is against state law to release private documents, according to his spokeswoman.

In his interview with Fox, Trump said he thinks a certification of live birth fails to prove anything.

"They give you a certificate of live birth, which anybody can get. Just walk into the hospital and you get a certificate of live birth," he said. "It's not even signed by people."

Though unsigned, the certification of live birth carries an official state seal, something the document Trump released is lacking.

Among other evidence of Obama's citizenship is the fact the hospital where he was born took out ads in two Hawaiian newspapers in 1961 announcing the birth. But Trump isn't buying that either.

"That was placed in the paper days after he was born," he told Fox. "He could have come into the country and then did it for social reasons – for whatever reasons."

But despite Trump's recent statements, Cohen maintains the "Apprentice" host actually doesn't doubt Obama was born in the United States. Instead he is only providing a voice to the "thousands" of e-mails he has received on his website, shouldtrumprun.com.

A recent CNN Opinion Research poll shows most Americans think that Obama was indeed born in the United States. But there is a partisan divide on the issue.

The survey indicates that 72 percent think the president was definitely or probably born in the U.S., with one out of four saying that he was definitely or probably born outside the country.

Full results (pdf)

Breaking down the numbers further, 46 percent say Obama was definitely born in the U.S., 26 percent say he was probably born in the country, with 15 percent saying he was probably born outside the U.S. and one in ten saying the president was definitely born outside the country.

The figures are little changed from last summer, when CNN last polled on the issue, but a partisan divide remains.

"A bare majority of Republicans, 52 percent, believe that President Obama was born in the U.S., with 43 percent saying that he was born elsewhere," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "By contrast, 11 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of independents say Obama was not born in the U.S."

Earlier this month the Supreme Court again rejected an appeal from a "birther" proponent questioning the citizenship of the president. At least 10 states have introduced bills requiring presidential candidates to provide proof they are natural-born citizens.

At a Democratic party event in Boston earlier this week, the president joked about the controversy, saying "I was born in Hawaii, what can I say? I mean, I just… I can't change those facts."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 18-20, with 1,012 people questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Donald Trump • President Obama
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Darth Cheney

    One's position on the "birther" issue is the closest thing in the entire US to a pure litmus test for idiocy.

    March 29, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Eric

    Trump's lawyer said this, ""It's incredible he has that [birth certificate]," Cohen said. "I know I don't have mine."

    Wait a minute. Trumps LAYWER doesn't have his birth certificate, and he's representing Trump, who's attacking the President for not having his official certificate? Brilliant. Hypocritical. Brilliant.

    March 29, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. mkjp

    That's great. Trump thinks that mere days after his birth, Obama's mother got on a plane and flew several hours to Hawaii from...Kenya? Indonesia? where ever he is delusional enough to think Obama was born....yea right. I'd like to see him have a baby and the next day sit on a plane for 24 hours. I'm sure people totally do that all the time.

    March 29, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Emerson

    A hospital" birthing record" for Mr. Trump? Are you sure it was not a "spawning record" or "hatching record'? Let's get the facts and then have an opinion even if it contradicts the facts and lets be loud about it and refuse to listen to reason and then we can get a show on Fox network.

    March 29, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I can assure you, Mr. Trump is a U.S. citizen,"
    -------------------------------------------------–
    Like hell he is!!!!! That HAIR alone disqualifies him from any claim to American cittizenship!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ROFLMDominicanAO!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 29, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Mie None

    Mr. "Full of Hot Air" strikes again. Trump is a liar and has about as much ability to be President of the United States as a wet napkin.

    March 29, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. DC2003

    Oh Don .... Yawn!!
    All in the name of free publicity

    March 29, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. neverarepublican

    Trump is mentally and physically repulsive. I have noticed that he stopped talking like a fish after Rosie O'donnell showed us exactly what he looked like, lips, hair and all. It was sooooo on the money, He responded by calling her filthy names.....just like the ugly spoiled brat that he is.
    I hope he does run in the republican primary. Maybe he will have to file bankruptcy AGAIN. What a loser.
    Also, watch out for him using his daughter.....another demagouge. Wasn't Trump born in Germany???????????

    March 29, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. paul

    This is all such nonsense. Obama's mother was born and raised an American citizen. This makes Obama an American citizen at birth and therefore eligible for office regardless of where he was born. If politicians don't know that simple law then they shouldn't run for or much less be in office.

    March 29, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. betterdays

    The good old U.S. of A. was a much more civilized place in 1961. Hospitals actually advertised births on behalf of mothers! Nice young men (but not womyn) would pump your gas for you, too. Golly, it was swell.

    March 29, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Scott in the Atl

    Just cause a Trump Aid says he's a U.S. Citizen doesn't make it true. Under who's authority was Trump declared a U.S. citizen??? Prove it!!!

    March 29, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Martha in CF

    I can assure you that President Obama is also a US citizen.................................

    March 29, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    I didn't think that crawling from under a rock was grounds to have a birth certificate! Then agsin, it couldn't gave happened to a worst person!!!
    Trump"et" man, your are just not FIRED you are not fit to be employed as our President!!

    March 29, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. usualone

    If Trump had any credibility as a candidate, he certainly lost it over this birther issue.

    March 29, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. Trumpisanidiot

    Oversight my aunt's fanny!

    See Mr. Hair Club of America – getting an actual birth certificate is not as easy as one may think.

    Trump is an idiot and liar (wth does he mean no one from Obama's childhood remembers him – kindergarten teachers and students he went to school with as well as the current governor of the state of Hawaii remembers him)!

    I may or may not vote for Obama, but I sure as heck will never vote for Mr. Hair Club Reality TV Show Trump for President either! The man is a pathetic joke.

    March 29, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Stacey

    This whole issue is just despicable and disgusting. Even if President Obama released the original raised seal, long form of his birth certificate, these wing nut extremists still wouldn't be satisfied. Don't show them anything else President Obama. They hate you because of the color of your skin and you will never satisfy these racists no matter what you do.

    March 29, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. neverarepublican

    The moron doesn't know the difference between an original birth certificate and a hospital record. Ya, like we need another
    George W Bush..............................

    March 29, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  18. NVa Native

    Trump is a chump! A clown. A baboon. Probably a US citizen, but being a "birther" is the lowest of low.
    Lets see Trump can find the Doc who pulled him out of the womb. What an idiot.
    Are there no adults left in the Repub Party?

    March 29, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Mike

    Lets just say the Donald is an idiot.

    March 29, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Dwelf Gimble

    Trump is a talking turd with bad comb-over (see Lisa Lampanelli's comment on it at his roast). He should get Michael Medved to be his running mate. That way we would have two alien hair-hosting organisms on one ticket. (Imagine if you could get Trump's hair and Medved's mustache on one person. Oops, that Michelle Bachman.)

    March 29, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Quintus

    Yeah, baby Obama got on a plane two days after his birth in Kenya, flew to Honolulu, walked into a hospital, obtained a certificate of live birth, then placed an ad in the paper...for social reasons. That was a busy day for baby Obama.

    March 29, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Rove Kasparov

    Oversight?
    This is how you earned your billions?
    Serves you right, you idiot!

    March 29, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Name king

    Dam trump! your fake birth certificate don't even have an official state seal on it, hell I can get one of those off the Internet. How the hell you didn't know you was bringing around a bogus birth certificate for so long, and didn't know it was the original, trump the more you show yourself in the media, the more people realize how stupid you are.

    March 29, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Jeff In Ohio

    Rich people are stupid too.

    March 29, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. B

    Trump is great entertainment isn’t he ? He belongs in the Funnies -

    March 29, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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