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
4 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. anthony

    All this does is insure Obama with yet another 4 years in the Oval office. Thank you Right wing Looney Bin parade. Im so glad none of you are any where near a position of power or decision making on an international level. Congress, maybe.. but (Left or Right) theyre all good for nothing too.

    March 29, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Rob R

    "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."

    I swear, if this doesn't prove that watching Fox News makes you stupid, I don't know what will.

    March 29, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. ACE

    Donald Trump would not be half the man that President Obama is without his fathers money.Not that he is now even with his fathers money,theres something to be said about being self made.

    March 29, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Tom

    By the way, MJ, Obama does not release it because 1) he does not have to release it to the general public and 2) even if he did, the birthers would not believe him and he would only be giving the conspiracy theory more life.

    March 29, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. BD70

    Geeze Trump...if you didn't know that wasn't an official birth certificate on your desk what else don't you know? By the way...can't wait to see the long form.

    March 29, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. 2 Old 2B Afraid

    Donald Trump is just bloviating to get more attention. He has no plans to run for office because he will never open his financial records as required.

    BTW, bragging about ripping off Gadhaffi? Why was he doing business with Gadhaffi in the first place? Because Trump loves money more than he loves America. Remember Lockerbe? Would you vote for someone who did business with that crazy murderer?

    March 29, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Tommy Perkins

    I can see it now baby Obama flying over from Kenya at two days old. To hatch his plan in action to one day be president of the United States and then take over the world. Must of been a pretty smart kid Pinky.

    March 29, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Bill NY

    Trump is just a poser. If this piece of work is elected president, then the prediction that the end is near will come true!

    March 29, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. AK Lisa

    Trump this is not an issue, unless you're a brainwashed tea partier who takes the Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh's and faux news as gospel. This just shows how unfit for office he is, about as unfit as as the two year quitter gov.

    March 29, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. RgTx

    Trump, sorry about all the questions. But in order for you to run for president, we want to see the ORIGINAL BCs of you, your parents, uncles, aunts, and your dog.

    Want to make sure it's all legit. I don't you are American at all. No American in his right mind would have a fake hairdo like your. And if you hairdo is fake, goodness knows, what else is fake.

    March 29, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. CEL1

    ALLRIGHT, way to go Donald. You're dumber than I ever imagined. And, I have a pretty vivid imagination...........and your lawyer is a piece of work. I'd like to try a case against you and have him defend. Whta a pair of dimwits.

    March 29, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Ruth

    Donald Trump has shown himself unfit for office by jumping on the crazy birther train. By the way, my official birth certificate looks exactly like President Obama's.

    March 29, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. ellid

    The President, unlike Mr. Trump, released his birth certificate over two years ago. Case closed.

    March 29, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Steve

    Eric – Obviously you can't comprehend what you are reading. He was referring to a birthing record, not a birth CERTIFICATE.

    I don't see why the "president" can't produce his birth certificate for the country? Should be pretty straight forward unless you are trying to cover something up.

    March 29, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Alina77

    I think if Obama would glued it to his forehead they still wouldn't believe it. But that's fine, the right looks more and more stupid every time they bring it one. Who wants to have stupid party to lead????! Because instead of any idea about jobs or economy we have this again and again.

    March 29, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. terry,va

    Trump is smarter than you think. This was done to show that Obummie hasn't released his "official" birth certificate. Release the document Obummie.

    March 29, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Gorefan

    I love the way people keep saying "why doesn't he just show it?'

    He did. And to date he is the only President to release his birth certificate to the public either before or while in office.

    Here is the thing. The president did what any American would do if they needed a copy of their birth certificate, he contacted the state where he was born and had them send him a copy. And for some reaon that's not good enough.

    March 29, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Mark

    Instead of his birth records, I would like to see Trump's income tax records for, say, the past 20 years or so. My guess is that there's a lot more interesting stuff to see there than in his birth records. In the meantime, what a moronic "oversight." Does not bode well, I would say, for a run at the WH.

    March 29, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Citizen for Patriotic Patriots

    Trump was born in Jamaica. Why were you hiding this, Donald? American Patriots want to know.

    March 29, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Sharon

    Does Trump have a passport? If yes, how did he get it without a birth certificate. Oh wait.....has he ever left the U.S. (on a trip)? Odd, isn't it?

    March 29, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Chris

    Ok thats it, i am completly convinced that Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman all work for President Obama and are just out to make the republican party look bad so Obama wins re election.

    There is no way these people are really like this in real life?! just cant be.. Obama has hired these people to run for president.

    March 29, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. joesnopy

    Trump is playing this card to get free time on the air people. He does this all the time. I am sure he did this by design. When he was on the VIEW you could tell it was all an act. I mean he does not need to be a great actor to fool nuts like the people in the Tea Party.

    March 29, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Vic of New York

    WAIT A SECOND ! ! ! ! This "Birth Certificate" says Trump was born at "The Jamaica Hospital" ! ! ! Jamaica is a foriegn country in the Carribean. Trump cannot run for President of the Republicans because he's Jamaican! ! ! His mother is Scottish and she birthed him in Jamaica. Moreover, his bank accounts are held in The Bahamas. He doesn't even keep his money in America. This hippocrit Republican isn't American, doesn't keep his money in America, and doesn't even have American parents and he has the gall to criticize the President? ...More Kock Brother TEA party BULL ! ! !

    March 29, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Peter

    The reason Obama shouldn't "just show the certificate and shut everybody up" is because there is no requirement to do so. None of the recent Presidents have. The overwhelming majority of public officials do not. Thus, to do so would be to cave in to fear-mongering, and set a bad precedent. He has produced a document that his state recgonizes as legal verification of his native birth. 'Nuff said.

    Honestly, even if he produced a birth certificate, it would not be enough for most of the "birthers." It's never enough, because there's always an excuse, a justification. Trump questions why no one remembers Obama as a child... and yet when people come forward (his kindergarten Teacher for instance), he questions how people could remember him as a child. There's always a possible rationalization for delusion.

    March 29, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. rusty155

    Donald Trump you are a IDIOT. Just get Over It he the President and you will never be.President Obama Is a US Citizen. Even a Republican GOV. say she seen his birth Certificate, can't you believe some one In your own party.

    March 29, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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