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. Fiery Buddha

    Uh, yeah. Right. Do we want someone that doesn't bother to verify the authenticity of his "birth certificate" before posting it in order to prove a point?

    Point proven, but not the intended point. Bye-bye, Trump. Go back to TV and bankruptcy and leave national politics alone.

    March 29, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Indy

    If Trump the Chump does not shut up soon I am sending Rosie O Donnell his way to slap some sense into him . He is the dumbest person to hit the airwaves this month. Does Trump not have a job, where does any CEO have time to join a birthers movement and waste every day on the airwaves with stupidity. Anyone that has any money tied up in anything Trump has control of would be wise to get it out right now, before he is admitted to the top floor.Sure it is nice to get a break from Trump but good golly there is no one as dumb as Trump, he must be well below 1% approval rating with this childish behavior

    March 29, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Supprimer

    This doesn't make sense..."Cohen maintains the "Apprentice" host actually doesn't doubt Obama was born in the United States." But Trump previously said on Fox "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, it's not even signed by people." and "That was placed in the paper days after he was born, He could have come into the country and then did it for social reasons – for whatever reasons."
    Which is it Mr. Trump. Are you a Birther or not. Please advise.

    March 29, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. HM

    The President has shown this certificate and even published a newspaper clipping announcing the birth from the date /time/year he was born. Trump is an idiot but he is playing the white racist card and getting birthers and tea parties listening. Sad day for America. Did Bush show his certificate? What, he's white so he doesn't need to? Get over it.

    Trump is an idiot and obviously has an incompetent staff. Maybe he should fire them. He is doing this for publicity.. maybe his casino revenue is down. Better yet, only in America can an idiot like this even be considered. SAD

    March 29, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. CC

    Trump, I guess this is you "winning" getting all the publicity you can, I get it...real estate is at the low
    of 2009–so that cuts deep in your pockets, even the uber rich are looking for deals...so you have to
    keep that suave hair doo in the spot light as long as you can under any guise...but darling, the close-up
    isn't bringing you any new fans. Making quite a few of us that some what respected you get a sour
    taste for the Trump brand, its looking like plated gold instead of platnum. A man of class would lose this
    act, its distasteful and quite honestly you can't afford to be that arrogant dude anymore–you have not
    aged as gracefully as the wine in my cellar, and this idiotic verbage is as if you are speaking in tongues
    instead of making any sense. Retire this clown act, please. Obama was born in the US, he owes you
    or anyone nothing more than he gave–live birth records (Newspaper birth announcement), which most of us have. Stage left player wannabee!! You are fired!!
    PS, someone needs to be fired for this mistake (wrong records released publicly-hahaha, whose bad is that, even
    though the reflection of such is all yours)

    March 29, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Unsympathetic

    Trump needs to accept basic facts. This isn't "up for debate" – Obama is a US citizen, period. No wonder Trump is a failure.

    March 29, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Laura

    This is just sad...if you do not think President Obama was born in the US then you're a racist...just admit it! You hate the President because he's black and his name is Barack Obama.

    March 29, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. bbbrooke

    Trump does realize that we do not have a monarchy right? How will he ever sit in a regular chair and not the mammoth throne style he is used to? He is starting to scare me as much as Palin!

    March 29, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Aaron

    I was almost interested in what Trump might say he would do as president. Now I have no interest in him whatsoever.

    March 29, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Sue

    ANYONE can place an announcement in the paper. You can place an announcement for a birth, engagement, marriage, graduation, etc.--you can even place it in another paper/state. This does NOT prove anything--as anyone can place the announcement, and anyone can place whatever announcement they want, as long as they pay for it.

    Obama's grandparents probably paid for the announcement in the paper--so that his mother could attempt to use it as proof for school, benefits, etc, when she brought him back into the US.

    And, did you know that Obama's Social Security Number is from Connecticut? Why would he have a SS number from Connecticut?

    And, the Gov of Hawaii GUARANTEED everyone that he would release Obama's birth certificate--then had to announce weeks later that he could not find it. Some sources through the media even have the Hawaii Gov's friend admitting that the Gov cannot find it.

    I hope that Trump keeps on this--the more he keeps this in the media with evidence, etc.-–the more that it gets the rightful attention that it deserves.

    March 29, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Perry

    Typical idiot LIberals. Grab onto a stupid argument only to have Trump immediately obtain and release his official birth certificate in less than 24 hours. You don't think that was planned to show how fast and easy it is to obtain an official birth certiifcate, further demonstrating how lame it is that Obama hasn't.

    March 29, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    So I guess this proves it, the Donald is NOT a US Citizen since he does not have an Official Birth Certificate like the President has. Trump, I think you were born in Canada. You better drop out of the race and go back to Canada. It's even more interesting that this so called business man who deals in documents all the time can't tell the difference between and official document and one that's not. Maybe that explains why he has declared bankruptcy so many times. Trump, you are a fraud as well as hypocrite.

    March 29, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Ben

    So, these guys think publishing a reproduction of Trump' (alleged) birth certificate proves anything? Anyone with a computer and printer could produce a very official looking document. Let's wait and see if Trump's attorney suddenly finds his BC.

    March 29, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Ranterdon

    The article has the results of a survey on what Americans think....none of those surveyed have seen the presidents birth certificate...he either is or he isn't and nothing anyone says here changes that...

    Trump will continue to ask because he can...of course he has clearly had to fire someone over this too..maybe that's what he really wants people to hear "Mr. Obama you are FIRED" lol

    March 29, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. JLR

    A "birthing record"? That's not a birth certificate–the long form. What is he trying to hide? He's trying to comb over the truth–pun intended.

    March 29, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Christine

    The time wasted on this subject is unbelievable. From the U.S. State Department – defining U.S. citizenship to a child born abroad to one US citizen and to two US citizens – either way, he is a citizen of the United States. I wish members of the birther nation weren't, including Mr. Trump.:

    Birth Abroad to Two U.S. Citizen Parents in Wedlock
    A child born abroad to two U.S. citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provided that one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth. The child is considered to be born in wedlock if the child is the genetic issue of the married couple.

    Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock
    A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, is required for physical presence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.) The U.S. citizen parent must be genetically related to the child to transmit U.S. citizenship.

    March 29, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. yoga girl

    You are missing the point here! It states in the constitution that the President of the United States needs to be born on American soil.... Obama was not. Trump is not the President yet.

    March 29, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    For all of you that can actually produce a copy of your own birth certificate, I congratulate you. Because I was adopted as an infant, there is no record of my birth under my current legal name. When I joined the Navy, they had to obtain a certifying document of my birth (not a copy of my birth certificate) and a copy of my adoption papers to prove I was who I claimed to be. Later in my Navy Career, I worked as a recruiter and learned what documents were acceptable and what were not. The document produced by President Obama back in 2008 would have been sufficient for his entry in the US Navy as it is proof of his citizenship by birth and would be acceptable as one of the required documents for a passport application. The document Trump produced at the top of the page would not be acceptable for proof of citizenship by birth for the US Military. Nor would it be acceptable as proof for obtaining a passport.

    March 29, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. bobby

    I'm a birther. No amount of evidence will ever convince me Trump was born in the U.S. Everyone in the government is part of a conspiracy to hide this fact so he can be president. Trump was born in Africa. Maybe Asia. Maybe Antarctica. Put on your tinfoil hats because the new world order is coming and Trump will destroy us all.

    March 29, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. PK California

    Is this all we have running for president? I'm sure he has enough money to spend his presidency creating witch huntts on every member of congress and all former presidents. You mean to tell me that if there was a real problem with a birth certificate the GOP wouldn't have brought it to light before he spent two years running the country? Most states have a different looking form for proof of birth. If yours looks different than mine then you can be darn sure you're not a citizen!!!! This is only being brought up to make people suspicious of Obama. They'll be going back in the trash bins to find any piece of garbage in there that they could throw to the public and a few will believe EVERYTHING! Let's, for once, get off the crap and talk about actions to help this country. Trump would be better liked if he decided to give up running for president and donated a few of his billions to help our country, rathe than building golf courses, no one needs, all over the world!

    March 29, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Longsack the Clown

    So he just happened to have a birth record on his desk??? Isn't that where everybody keeps theirs! And not an original at that. So he tries to show up the President and ends up looking even more stupid by posting a simple record of live birth. The shame of it is he is too stupid to know he is making a complete fool of himself. But he is a "smart guy", at least he says so. So I guess it has to be true.

    March 29, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. strangways

    oh pleeeze – what experience does The Donald have to run for president? I mean, I know where he's coming from – American politics – esp. the White House – is rapidly becoming the exclusive domain of the rich. Like George W, he probably feels entitled – it's his right to be president and "the little people" will just have to embrace it.

    March 29, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Mich481

    I am truly amazed that THE DONALD has TWO birth certificates. The one shown has a state seal stamped on it. I can't make out what it said because it is blurred. I was born and raised in the US, and only have ONE certificate from the hospital I was born in, and it has the state seal on it. BTW Mr Cohen why wouldn't you have your original birth certificate? I have mine and I am 60. Stupid comments from your aide and yourself!

    March 29, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. RichInPA

    Hmmmmmm...Did you notice that Trump was born in the JAMAICA hospital. If he was a REAL American, he would have been born in the John Wayne hospital or better yet, the Ronald Regan hospital.

    March 29, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Please keep asking this

    So, as it turns out, Trump doesn't even know what a birth certificate is.

    .... I'm sorry, America. But this is just too funny for words. The topic itself is sort of a joke, but Donald is the punchline here!

    What frightens you more: that this man somehow became a billionaire, or that he's decided to run for President?

    March 29, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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