Trump says he has doubts about Obama’s birth place
March 17th, 2011
09:01 AM ET
10 years ago

Trump says he has doubts about Obama’s birth place

(CNN) – Donald Trump, the business mogul who continues to claim he is seriously interested in mounting a bid for the White House, says he has doubts about whether President Obama was born in the United States.

In an interview with ABC, Trump said he finds it strange “nobody knew” Obama as a young child in Hawaii.

“Let me tell you, I’m a really smart guy. I was a really good student at the best school in the country. The reason I have a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him,” Trump said in the interview that aired Thursday.

“If I got the nomination, if I decide to run, you may go back and interview people from my kindergarten. They'll remember me. Nobody comes forward. Nobody knows who he is until later in his life. It's very strange,” the Celebrity Apprentice host added. “The whole thing is very strange.”

Current Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he was a friend of Obama’s parents in Hawaii and remembers when the future president was born. Abercrombie, a former congressman who became governor last December, 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 2008, the Obama campaign produced a certification of live birth that reports his birthplace as Honolulu, Hawaii. He attended kindergarten there before moving to Jakarta, Indonesia with his stepfather at age six. Katherine Nakamoto, Obama’s kindergarten teacher, described the then-five-year old to the Maui News in 2009: “He was a cute, likable, heavy build-child. I could visualize Barry smiling, dressed in his long-sleeved, white shirt tucked into his brown Bermuda shorts, and wearing laced shoes."

In the interview with ABC, Trump also said he would be willing to spend $600 million on his own presidential bid and ran through his opinions of his possible opponents.

Mitt Romney? “He doesn’t resonate.”

Tim Pawlenty? “I don't think he will captivate the voters.”

Jon Huntsman? “When you work for somebody else, as he has worked for Barack Obama, you don't leave and run against that person. It's very disloyal.”

Mike Huckabee? “I really like him. He's the kind of a guy that maybe could really get some votes.”

Sarah Palin? “She did fine as the governor. I think, personally, she made a tragic mistake when she left early. I think she's more qualified than Barack Obama was when he became president.

Newt Gingrich? “You know why I like Gingrich? He just joined my club in New York.”

Filed under: Donald Trump • President Obama
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Rebecca from Milford, VA

    What an idiot!!! Silly games!!!!

    March 17, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  2. Seattle Sue

    This goes to prove Trump is as crazy as the other Birthers.

    March 17, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  3. Jason Frank

    And how many times has Mr. Combover run his company into the ground and filed for bankruptcy? This guy seriously wants to be president? Give me a break. Look Don, stick to your crappy reality show and shut up. If the average Joe had filed for bankruptcy as many time as you have, they wouldn't get a line of credit for a $1.

    March 17, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. kyle

    It seems like the only issues the GOP canidates have to run on is whether or not Obama was born in America, CLOWMS!!!!!!!!!!

    March 17, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |

    I didn't know that presidents as children are expected to be known in order for us to believe that they were born in this country. The best part is that he tells us how smart he is before he says a statement this dumb. Pathetic.

    March 17, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. bob

    That's okay Don. W didn't know you either. Don't really care what you think.

    March 17, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. vic nashville tn

    I can’t believe that Trump is taking that road.

    March 17, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. Brian

    Trump, you are trumping up any chance you would of had before you even get started, be for real.

    March 17, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. BK

    Nobody knowing Obama in Hawaii shouldn't surprise anyone. My son was born in California, and three months later, we moved to another state. I challenge you to find people in California who knew my son. He was born there, but I only have a birth certificate to prove it.

    Oh, and just because you're born in Hawaii doesn't obligate you to attend Kindergarten in Hawaii five years later.

    March 17, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. Doubts About Trump

    I haven't seen Trump's birth certificate nor has anyone come forward who knew him. However, there was a report that someone had a high school year book with this photo of bad hair boy calling himself Trump. Could be Trump but until I see his birth certificate I remain sketical.

    March 17, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  11. Irma in North Carolina

    All you are is another tea party racist. We don't need another one f them near the white house.

    March 17, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. Tammy

    Despicable, disgraceful, disgusting and dimwitted. Typical Trump idiocy.

    March 17, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  13. Still Jenny From The Blog

    He had me until he said he supports the tea party....

    March 17, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. annie s

    Duh. President Obama lived in Indonesia between the ages of 6 and 10. Outside of those years, Americans HAVE come out to say they knew him. And of course, there's his birth certificate – posted online for all to see, and those birth announcements in Hawaii newspapers – posted online for all to see, and the fact that the Governor of Hawaii and the Secretary of State of Hawaii have affirmed his birth in their state. But yeah, Trump's a really smart guy – gotta appeal to the Tea Party whacks somehow.

    March 17, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  15. AceRyder

    This moron can't be serious? he's as bad as Palin – publicity seeking, declares bankruptcy/walks from RE deals often, ego bigger than the moon. He's a pop figure, not a leader of a country.

    Christ, we are almost ensuring 4 more years if the Repubs put up either Palin or this joker.

    March 17, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  16. Seam

    There are several problems with Trump that most people forget. In the 1990's, the guy was flat out broke, and had significant financial debt including bankruptcies. This guy has a history of poor decision making. The guy is a business-minded, self centered, egotistic, loose cannon. He takes risks and spends A LOT of money. Besides recent success, I'm not sure how this qualifies him to be a stable, conservative, fiscally responsible Republican, or President of the United States.

    March 17, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. sandra

    Trump just lost all credibility, not that he had very much to begin with.
    A guy who claims to have a handle on business but filed for bankruptcy more than once.
    Show some class, stick to the issues, either way Trump you have zero chances of becoming President. (period)

    March 17, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  18. Obama 2012

    Are they going to interview him about his bankruptcies too? This guy is such a joke.

    March 17, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. Tired of the nonsense

    How could such a "smart" guy like Trump be so stupid?

    March 17, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  20. maf

    Really?? Seriously?? Trump is a "Birther"? Jump in Donald. Please RUN!
    What an embarrassment. Line them up and all the blah, blah, blah they spew between the GOP frontrunners will be enough to heat Alaska on its own.
    When someone has to tell you he's a smart guy, means they are covering up for something.

    March 17, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  21. Seam

    Let's look at Trump's current baggage: The Trump Tower – Tampa has been quite controversial because the initial sales were so successful that all deposits were returned to charge a higher price. Three years after construction of this controversial development began, construction has delayed and lawsuits have been filed. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida one Trump construction project was put on hold in favor of another (Trump International Hotel and Tower – Fort Lauderdale). Meanwhile, Trump Towers – Atlanta is being developed in a housing market which has the nation's second-highest inventory of unsold homes. Trump eliminates himself with such foolishness that it will not connect with the middle class. And this guy wants to lead the free world? LOL. Gimme a break!

    March 17, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Well, I have doubts about the Donald's antecedents, too; he's starting to resemble Rigel from Farscape, and as I recall, the little guy was something called a Hynerian.

    March 17, 2011 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. Laverne

    If you are so smart and have been following this whole thing then you would know there are people who have come forth to acknowledge they knew President Obama as a child, the problem is people like you have decided not to listen and pretend it is not so because you have other motives like trying to paint President Obama as an alien like figure. I will never watch the apprentice again. and by the way, because you have done alright in real estate does not mean you will be a good president because if you run the country the way you run your business and your personal life, then we are in trouble!

    March 17, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. EAC

    Excellent point Donald.

    March 17, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. skifru

    This thing with Obama's birth place, etc. should have been figured out before he became President and before he was given the right to campaign, not after. Had it been that clear, the matter would have been settled long ago. Now imagine if a year after his term is over, the country finds out that he was not born here. It would explain a lot but imagine what a scandal it'll be.

    March 17, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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