Trump aide says release of unofficial birth certificate an 'oversight'
Trump released this document to the website It is a hospital birthing record, not a birth certificate.
March 29th, 2011
12:22 PM ET
12 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 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,

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. musomesa

    Politics 101: Don't willingly create your own embroglio! What on earth are Trump's advisers thinking?

    March 29, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. cf

    So, Teapartier slams Obama for not showing birth certificate (even though he has), and then same Teapartier fails to submit a real birth certificate of his own. This is hilarious. Definitely the Tea Party Epic Fail of the week.

    March 29, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Austin

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, That is too rich

    God doesn't like ugly

    If Trump does not have a US birth certificate, then how can he claim to be a US citizen??????

    March 29, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Monster Zero

    Trump is shrewd, just like Barry, he has produced in like what the President has produced, and look at the comments. Now why don't both Trump and Obama reveal their long form birth certificates? Great idea, put this issue to rest, it is not going away and what is the big deal, show it. This is so predictable of the left to anyone that questions the validity of Barry's live birth certificate, call them names, change the subject, accuse them of racism.
    Produce the document.

    March 29, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. Joseph L

    The fact that Trump published a hospital document is very hipocritical and show no seriousness of the issue. What amazes me is that so many are questioning President Obama birth because 1 he is black, 2 he has a foreign last name and 3 his parents are mixed. I challenged every memeber of Congress and every candidate out there to produce theres. All because of the fact that he is the first black president, do some go to great length to question his birth. Look at the Officer of he Armed Forces that refused deployment because he doubted the birth of the commander in Chief. Now he looses his career, benenfits and rank for a stupid stance. Was it worth loosing his career over, I think not and he probably wish he had just went on to Afgan in the first place. Trump get real, this is not a real estate deal this is more than your show think.

    March 29, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. CTYank

    That's funny, Donald. You want us to believe you. Really?

    I'd expected better, even from you. Then you go and double- and triple-down on that poo. What's next?

    March 29, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. RG

    That's odd, I was born in 1957, and thet did not such sophisticated printing equipment back then. My original birth certificate is from a mimeograph, with black background and white printing. I wonder how Trump's is so much more modern than mine despite being born 11 years before. Did any dostors or nurses say "I remember that Trump kid" . Can he produce a document that his hair is real? Hair Club for men? I'm not only a client.....

    March 29, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Matt_Esq

    This is how you earned your billions?
    Serves you right, you idiot!"
    No, oversight is not how he earned his billions. He already told us how: he screwed over business partners like Gaddafi, bought some gold toilets and, when things got bad, filed for bankruptcy.

    March 29, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Seneca

    I love how '1 in 10 people say he is not an american.' What does it matter what people say? 25% of americans think the loch ness monster and big foot exist, that doesn't make it so. What are we going to choose presidents based on superstitions and ignorance?

    March 29, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Joseph L

    If i am 45 and got both my live and official why is that Cohen and Trump cant do the same. I bet they got safe deposit boxes, with everything in them but birth certificates and passports they keep in hip pockets. As some of you may notice, most foreign countries you have to walk with your documents to prove who you are at all times, maybe we nned to start that here lol. Seriously even most of the communist contries require that you carry your papers lets not get lousy.

    March 29, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. ZekeInTX

    Funny, I was born and raised in Hawai'i and my Certificate of Live Birth has ALWAYS been accepted as proof of my citizenship and workforce eligibility. No one has ever questioned my citizenship or asked for a "long-form birth certificate" (which I don't think any of my childhood friends have or ever received). Why can't we afford the same acceptance to our president?

    March 29, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. a6102658

    I know Trump does not stand a chance, but for him, a man of such a stature, an iconic symbol of New York to fall into this birther conspiracy, I think it hurts him more than it help, all of the sudden he seems to me to be another idiot as much as the Tea Baggers.
    This truly resemblance what happened to Guilliani, he went from Darling to Idiot very quickly.

    March 29, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. david in chicago

    Trump was born in China, the certificate he's alluding to is a fake.

    I don't know why he's lying about all this, his words and actions suggest Trump has no interest in public service

    March 29, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. AndyG

    Can we just be honest and say that this is only an issue because Obama is black and has "Hussein" for a middle name. It was a racist smear from the get go, and CNN should be ashamed for blowing any oxygen into this whole sordid mess.

    March 29, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. thisoldlady

    if you want to believe something you believe it, no matter what. Nothing will convince the birthers. Wonder how the Donald manages to life the high life, how many times has he been bankrupt? But keep it coming, Donald, please. My knee pads are worn out praying that Palin will get the GOP nod for presidential candiate, but I think the Donald would be even better for the Democrats.

    March 29, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. AppleBaby

    "I can assure you, Mr. Trump is a U.S. citizen," Trump aide and lawyer Michael Cohen told CNN.

    Dummy, that's not the issue here. The issue is whether he was born on American soil. Trumpy boy is having a hard time proving his point tsk tsk tsk, I don't know....I don't buy his story...

    March 29, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. Not Amused

    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.

    Must be a BIG Desk if it took 1 Hour find the document that is not a Birth Certificate.

    March 29, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. Joshua Ludd

    Its not his official birth certificate. So.. lets apply birther logic, shall we? Despite all other evidence to the contrary this lack of an official document being released means TRUMP ISN'T A CITIZEN!!!!!!!

    March 29, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. QS

    "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."

    "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."

    So it sits on his desk but he will have to "find" it or "order another one"? Give it up Douchie McBaggerson, your attempt at rhetoric to drum up publicity for your campaign is seen through by those of us who know what conservatives are all about.

    March 29, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Jack

    God, this is such old old news. if Trump has a problem let him talk to the State of Hawaii. They have responded many many timies to this stupid allegation. They are annoyed and feel insulted by this idiocy. Even the Supreme Court won't bother themselves with this craziness. But all the wackos won't quit.

    March 29, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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