Trump says he has doubts about Obama’s birth place
March 17th, 2011
09:01 AM ET
9 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. Guest

    Maybe the Donald will help the US file for bankruptcy if he is elected. He certainly has a wealth of experience in this area. Do us all a favor and stay in your ivory tower Trump. The LAST thing you are is presidential.

    March 17, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Michael Wong

    Donald Trump should not run for office; he should be hooked up to machines which can harness the power of his immense ego for electricity.

    March 17, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. Daniel

    You know, I have a "little" doubt that Trump's hair is real.

    Seriously, the more this guy opens his mouth, the more sure I am I'm voting for Obama. Palin more qualified? Please. I wouldn't elect her president of the local PTA.

    March 17, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If Trump is joining the "birther movement," then he has truly failed and won't win anything. This has been resolved many times. If people recall, Obama spent many years overseas after he was born.

    The problem is that Trump hasn't a good concept of what a governmental executive should do. Many in corporate America don't understand that being the president, governor, senator or represenative requires a different mindset. Chris Christie in NJ is a good demonstration. He is still thinking like a prosecutor rather than an administrator.

    March 17, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. Wilson

    Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a dreadful President. At this point I don't know why people keep talking about it. The main thing they need to know is he is an inept leader that was totally unprepared to be the President and it has been harmful to the country.

    March 17, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. jimmy

    yeah obama definately isn't even a citizen much less a natural born one

    March 17, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. ChristoInferno

    Give it a rest, moron.

    Here's something to consider: My sister and I were born in Hawaii, then moved to Japan for a year, then the Philippines, then back to Hawaii. Our father was in the Navy. And yes, we're both U.S. citizens. Because Hawaii became a state in 1959. Now I live in New York and my sister lives in Texas. But you know what? We were American citizens even when we lived in Hawaii.

    Stop insulting those of us who didn't grow up in middle America.

    March 17, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Brad

    I love it. The more these repub candidates open their mouths, the stronger Obama's re-election bid gets. I just hope they keep talking.

    March 17, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Joan

    Another publicity stunt. Celebrity Apprentice is currently airing on TV. This is a really ignorant and ill informed statement from Trump. When Pres. Obama was running in the primaries, don't you think top lawyers and investigators from all of the other candidates would have jumped on this if there was a real chance he wasn't born in Hawaii? When he was running against McCain, don't you think the Republican party with all of their money would have dug this up with investigators, etc if it was true? Some extremist, radical, desperate and maybe even racist folks are grasping at straws to try and discredit one of the smartest, capable and best Presidents America has ever had. There might be a birth certificate from Kenya with Barack Obama on it but it is his FATHER'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE if there is one ! Every sane, logical person knows that President Obama was born in Hawaii. His young mother was a student and would never have had the money to fly to Kenya just to have her baby and then fly back. Get real. Also, explain the verified birth announcements in the local papers at the time. I hope Trump puts his money where his mouth is and runs in the primaries and the voters can say "You're fired!". If he doesn't run it will prove that he is afraid to run and really didn't intend to anyway. What a blow hard!

    March 17, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. L. Snyder

    Donald Trump wants to buy the Presidency of the United States...he is ruthless, cunning, an elitist, and a capitalist interested only in making more money for himself. If anyone thinks he is capable of understanding what you and I go through on a daily basis, you are probably so wrong...this man will see to it that the divide between the "haves" and "have-nots" becomes even greater than it is now...see this man for who he is. As to the "birther" notion, I personally have a copy of President Obama's Certificate of Live Birth that I carry at all times to counter any nay-sayers who might be spouting their lies about this issue. People...the repub/t party folks are very adept at spewing hatred, inciting others with their fear-mongering, and telling out-and-out not embrace the notion that any of the candidates they might put up for election can do anything positive for this country...the power is one person, one vote...make your common-sense voice be heard in the voting booth!

    March 17, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. Belladonia

    Who cares what Trump thinks? The billionaire is just bored (and boring!)

    March 17, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Mike Z.

    You know...he actually makes some good points. Maybe that's why those on the Left continue to tout this "briain child" of a President who really appears to have little to no grasp on the realities occuring now in the Middle East and Asia. No...I'm not a birther...just a pragmatist.

    March 17, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. TM

    I'm sure trump's classmates remember him. How many preschoolers have a combover? And for the record, Obama's classmates DO remember him.

    March 17, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. jerseylou

    Surprise.....well trump my boy i think that wig of yours is wrap to tight around that Big Head of yours.The average person can't remember who they seen 2 or 3 days ago,never mind 45 years.

    March 17, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Just Sayin'

    What a pity that the only way some prospective candidates can garner attention is by following the birther mentality.

    March 17, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. Frank

    Trump is a nincompoop who knows better about Obama's birth but wants the publicity....

    March 17, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. Bob, Virginia

    Well, so much for anyone taking Donald Trump seriously. Oh wait....

    March 17, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. burgh

    So he wants to buy an election? The more I read from these Republican "candidates" the more worried I am for this country. Democrats, we must not lose this election!

    March 17, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. ingrid

    Trump, really you find it strange. There is a birth certificate, there are teachers, there are newspapers and testimony from people who knew him as a kid. Stop pandering and playing into the lunatic right's conspiracy theories.

    March 17, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  20. Seriously?

    Why is it the Republicans feel they have to make totally ridiculous and untrue statements? Trump is not a stupid person. It is almost like they do it just to get their names in the news. Don't you think that if President Obama was not born in the US the FBI, CIA and Secret Service would have outted him long ago? And, how does Trump know that "nobody knew him" growing up? Has Hawaii been canvassed to determine this? It's just more negativity being spewed by the Right. I really thought he would be above all this nonsense, because he is smarter than the rest of the banana bunch on the Right who are talking about running.

    I would have so much more respect for him if the headlines read "Trump Has Plan To Help Reduce Deficit" or "Trump Has Plan To Create Jobs". Enough of this "birther" crap. You never get anything positive out of this bunch. I guess they are just playing to their uneducated right-wing base. Is "The Donald" going to jump on the moral conservative band-wagon now? That would be real comedy!

    March 17, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Joe

    He's kissing the behinds of the right wing crazies. A sure sign that this guy with the muskrat toupee is about to run for president. He'll "find Jesus" any day now.

    March 17, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. allanhowls

    All that hairspray has finally seeped into Trump's brain.

    How do you claim to be that smart, yet ignore every single shred of evidence? I think you've just let down "the best school in America." (Who knew that a correspondence course held that title?)

    March 17, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. mike in sioux falls

    So, two years after the general election an army of raging republicans, democratic rivals, news agencies, faux news agencies, secret service and CIA and God knows who else cannot find any credible evidence that Obama wasn't born in the USA. Yet, here we have a "highly educated" man who "has doubts". This leaves only 2 conclusions: 1. he's an idiot or 2. he's pandering to other idiots and hoping to corner the stupid vote.
    His personal life is a mess. He has filed bankruptcy several times. He has had numerous affairs and marriages. He is an elitist that has not the slightest idea of problems confronting those not of his stratified social circle. He has had his cronies sieze property to expand his holdings and owes the IRS millions of dollars.
    This is another example of the bottom of the barrel candidate Republicans think America wants. More importantly it shows what their vision of America looks like.
    Patheticly, if Obama was guilty of anything like this; Republicans would be howling in rage. The worst Republicans can say about Obama is that he's trying to undo the damage inflicted on us by the previous administration and, oh yeah, he's Black.

    March 17, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. Molly Weasley

    He needs to stick to his bad TV show, where he can lie with impunity.

    Let him blow through his fortune - it only means his ex-wives won't get it. And how many times has he declared bankruptcy, exactly?

    March 17, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Greg Smith

    Mr. Trump, put up or shut up. Prove otherwise using your vast resouces or shut up.

    March 17, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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