Washington (CNN) – Developer and reality show host Donald Trump has been pushing the claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S. - a myth that has dogged the president since he took office. But everything changed on April 27.
Why? Obama released his original birth certificate. At a press conference at the White House, Obama said the controversy surrounding the issue had become a "sideshow" and that "we do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do."
Speaking in New Hampshire on the same day, Trump said that he is "very proud of myself" on getting Obama to release it. But he adds, "I want to look at it but I hope it's true"
CNN has investigated the 'birther claims' and here are the key points:
Certificate of live birth
The Obama team and the state of Hawaii released a certification of live birth, which documents the president’s birth on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu. This is not the original birth certificate. In Hawaii and other states, original birth certificates are not released when requested later.
CNN has seen a copy of the document and verified that it is official.
The certificate, officials say, allows a person born in Hawaii to get a driver's license, purchase land and obtain a U.S. passport.
What about the signature?
The so-called “birthers” say there's no signature or raised seal on the live birth certificate. But the group FactCheck.org, which viewed the original document, took a picture of the back of it and found there is a stamped signature and a raised seal.
Where’s the original birth certificate?
Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the former director of Hawaii's Department of Health, says she has personally viewed the president's original vital records and verified that he was born in Hawaii.
Former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, has been quoted as saying, "I had my health director, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records at the Department of Health. We issued a news release at the time saying the president was, in fact, born at Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that is just a fact."
Newspaper birth announcement
The announcement of Obama's birth appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser on August 13, 1961, and a day later in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin: “Mr. And Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Hwy., son, Aug. 4.”
Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo told the Star-Advertiser in July 2009 that vital statistics such as birth announcements were sent to the newspapers by the Health Department, which received the information from the hospital. These announcements were not sent in by the general public, Okubu said.
Current governor weighs in
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, was a close friend of the Obamas and has repeatedly said he was around during the future president’s birth and childhood.
What about his grandma’s claims?
Trump makes the claim that Obama's stepgrandmother in Kenya, Sarah Obama, said in an interview that he was born in Kenya. But the interview was done by a man characterized as a “street preacher” through a translator and there appears to be confusion over her answer.
The translator then came back and said Sarah Obama was saying that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.
What does the Constitution say (or not say?)
Article II of the Constitution states: "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."
But it leaves “natural born citizen” open to interpretation and most have interpreted this as natural law - that you inherit your citizenship from your parents.
It also doesn’t address whether one or both parents must be U.S. citizens for their children to be citizens, but most interpretations say one is enough.
"Most scholars, including me, believe that natural born citizenship extends further, to all of those who obtain citizenship at birth by law," writes Gabriel "Jack" Chin in a CNN.com opinion piece. "If this argument is right, then even if Obama had been born overseas, he is still a natural born citizen, because he obtained citizenship at birth through his mother who unquestionably was a U.S. citizen."
It turns out that the U.S. State Department tackles those questions.
According to this document, U.S. laws on becoming a citizen at birth come from two legal principles:
1) Jus soli (the law of the soil): "a rule of common law under which
the place of a person’s birth determines citizenship. In addition to
common law, this principle is embodied in the 14th Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution and the various U.S. citizenship and
2) Jus sanguinis (the law of the bloodline): "a concept of Roman or
civil law under which a person’s citizenship is determined by the
citizenship of one or both parents. This rule, frequently called
'citizenship by descent' or 'derivative citizenship, is not embodied
in the U.S. Constitution, but such citizenship is granted through
statute. As U.S. laws have changed, the requirements for
conferring and retaining derivative citizenship have also changed."
–CNN’s Brian Todd and Gabriel "Jack" Chin contributed to this report