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. dennis dehart

    The Republican party will continue to decline if the best they have to offer are people like Palin, Trump, Bachmann, etc. They say the things all the right wingers want to hear but no plan as to how to back it up. They seem to have forgotten how the shape our country was in when Obama became president and have turned it all around and try to make it look like it was his fault. I sat back each day for eight years and wondered how someone like George Bush could be president. He was more suited to manage a McDonalds. These people must love misery because they want to continue all his policies.

    March 17, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. FM

    Does this man ever smile???

    March 17, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Josh in Denver

    Trump wonders why no one remembers Obama as a child? Maybe it's because he moved to Indonesia when he was 6 years old. And they remember him there. I'm glad Trump went to the best school in the country, but that isn't a requirement to be President. We don't all have the luxury of growing up in a wealthy family like Donald Trump. How can he possibly relate to middle-class America. He's clueless.

    March 17, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. kuewa

    The only people who are likely to remember an middle-age adult's life before school-age are that person's parents, close relatives or family friends, and pediatrician. In President Obama's situation, virtually all of these people were deceased prior to his presidency, so it's not surprising there isn't a flurry of "I remember baby Barack" stories. Trump should be smart enough to realize this, but then he also gives tacit approval to at least two stellar morons (Palin and Huckabee) providing additonal proof that money and fame do not create brainpower.

    March 17, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Gavin

    Just when I was starting to take Trump seriously...see me in the board room Donald and bring 2 other birthers with of you is going home.

    March 17, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Dean

    Time has shown that politicians aren't very good at running a country financially or producing jobs. Maybe it is time to elect a business person and leave the politics to the do nothing congress.

    March 17, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. ingrid

    Any shred of credibility Trump might have had as a normal human being is gone for me. He is just a caricature of himself.

    March 17, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. th

    What a pitiful excuse for a human being.

    March 17, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. GOPhatesUSA

    We have doubts as to the origin of his hair. Foreign or domestic? Either way, it's got to go.

    With all that is going on in the world, this is what this guy decides to talk about? I'm surprised he could comment on anything since the Celebrity Apprentice is still on-going. Talk about priorities! Talk JOBS Trump and tell the other republicans to do the same. WE NEED JOBS.

    March 17, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. Mr. Moderate

    Donald, you are not a smart guy. He didn't live in Hawaii as a young child, he lived in Indonesia, it's well documented.

    Well, any last remaining shred of respect I had for that man has disappeared.

    Are you really that desperate to pander to the lunatic fringe?

    March 17, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. yuri

    It appears from his instant answers that Mr. Trump, is a manipulative, egotistical and megalomaniacal madman. What part of the Harvard Law Journal's portrait of BHO, does he not understand? Narcissism is OK upto a certain point, but if it accelerates ad nauseum, it becomes an anathema, which is precisely what Mr. Trump is, to quite a few people like us.

    We do not, for a moment, deny that he has his own henchmen and fervent followers, but sky is the limit for this blowhard behavior. In this regard, he is rapidly becoming a bete noire.

    March 17, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Jon G.

    Here's what I find strange – really strange: That a guy who stars in a reality show, then appears on a Comedy Central Roast would consider himself fit to run for President. Perhaps even stranger: Some people would waste their vote on him.

    March 17, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. johnmccain

    Self content bully. Has the country sunken to the very low to let folks buy the presidency? The bottom of so called "democracy". Where are the people represented in here?

    March 17, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. FactCheck

    The inspiring story of a self-made millionaire... Trump's father. Donald? He's just a spoiled trust fund kid who left taxpayers holding the bag for his mistakes... TWICE.

    March 17, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The Donald's father didn't think he had the working brain cells to be successful in business. Unfortunately, his dad was correct. If it wasn't for Ivana's business acumen The Donald would probably not be as wealthy as "Joe the Plumber". Now he is proving his idiocy by jumping on the "Birther Bandwagon"! Donald, I do believe the FBI would have flagged this issue if he were ineligible, so give it a rest!

    March 17, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. A keen observer

    Trump has a convoluted reasoning process for a guy who claims to be "a really smart guy".

    March 17, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Anthony Heyward

    This guys an idiot. "Sarah Palin has more experience than Barack Obama.....really?" Anyone who even considers voting for this moron was born on the same planet he apparently was. And by the way the effin President is a citizen, get over it. The only reason and I mean the ONLY reason there is so much doubt all this time later is because some people if you want to call them that can't wrap their head around this particular kind of guy being president. Now go ahead and say I'm using the race card, your damned if you do and damned if you dont in thsi country. Real sickos out here!

    March 17, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Darth Vadik, CA

    I wouldn't be surprised if the New Yorkers created a mob one day and chased this freak out of there, what an embarassement for someone in Trumps position to say ridiculous things like this...

    Geez, how stupid can you be, avoid answering the question at the least, but this is how far the right has gone, to where you have to have extreme views just so you can be "nominatable" on their pathetic!!!

    March 17, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Roland - Illinois

    I have lost ALL RESPECT for The Donald. Appears he going through a very-late Mid Life Crisis. He REALLY believes Sarah Palin is more qualified than Obama? Sadly disappointed to see what I thought was a great business leader. Watching him sit through the Comedy Central Roast and then see comments where he calls himselft a "very smart man" ? His credibility is shot! C'mon American stop lowering the Bar on the importance of having the necessary Intellectual Capacity to be a World Leader - We are becoming a Joke!

    March 17, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Jack

    People like Trump feel they can say anything they want and it is fact. Do your homework, Donald. All of you GOPers–do your homework, don't just listen to talking heads who know nothing.

    March 17, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. MikeyH

    So he doesn't think Obama was born in the US and he likes Palin, Huckabee, and Gingrich. I guess that pretty much decides it either way for most people.

    March 17, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. woozy

    What a blowhard... and the reason his opinion on anything is worth publishing is...?

    March 17, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Midwestmatt

    Sorry Donald, you just lost my vote.

    March 17, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Joe

    Donald, after reading some of the semi-political positions and listening to you over the last few years, I can say without a doubt that not only do you look scary, you sound scary and uncouth. I would never vote for you as president of anything. You may be good at manipulating the business world (a.k.a. “the corporate cesspool”), but the rest of us know what to do with people like you...tell you what we think of you and then IGNORE you. As far as I'm concerned, you and Sarah Palin are on the same level...and that's not saying a damn thing (good) about either of you.

    March 17, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Nick Deano

    I do not know the name of even one person from my 1st grade class, or 2nd or 3rd. I did not go to kindergarten. For all I know Trump was in one or all of my classes. The more this guy talks the less intelligent he becomes.

    March 17, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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