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
11 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. Dave T

    Trump is recognizing that the Republicans don't have any strong candidates and is cashing in on the same stupidity to appeal to the right wing folks who don't care about facts or having an intelligent discussion about REAL issues (economy & jobs). He is a pathetic joke. The birthers are no more than racist idiots who can't tolerate that we don't have a white president, but are smart enough not to come out and admit it.

    March 29, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Jason

    Lets see, we got birther with a giant ego, we got a Christian militant who's possibly a birther as well, we got a toad named Newt, and we got the she monster all wanting to run for pres..........WHERE DID ALL THE DECENT CANDIDATES GO?

    March 29, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. LiberalsandDemocratsareBrainless

    Wow! Barack Hussein Obama can't even produce THIS kind of birth certificate, and Trump will show you his long form – he's setting this exact kind of liberal, leftist, Marxist insanity up for a slap down. Let's face it Liberals, Progressives, and Democrats today have an illness. It's cowardice, self-indulgence, narcissism, and, well, lack of intelligence. BHO is the worst POTUS in American history – only 2 years into his Presidency. The fact that those commenting in support of BHO are still supporting him after 2 years of presidential disaster, shows why a Democracy where 18 year olds are allowed to vote, will fail. You have no capacity to understand long term consequences of your own idiocy. You will one day be ruled by tyrants who could care less about your uneducated perspectives, and you will be the only ones to blame. Enjoy your freedom while you can. You most assuredly didn't work to provide the freedoms we enjoy today, and you most assuredly do not deserve them.

    March 29, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Dave in SC

    I suspect the typical 'birther' also wears a tinfoil hat to keep the CIA from scanning their brains. Not that there's anything in there to scan......

    March 29, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. barb

    Trump sure knows how to keep his name in the news. However, it usually means his face is also in the news and the more I see this pathetic looking millionaire, the less Iikely it is I will ever want this face representing this country in the White House. He needs to just stick with "screwing" people in his real estate dealings and bragging about it.

    March 29, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. mike

    Not good enough. we want the original and we want it posted in a place where the public can see it – nothing less will do. You folks started this..issue, so now it applies to you too!
    You made this bed, you lie in it!

    March 29, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. GL


    All this could go away if only Obama shows his birth certificate. He is in a public office and claims to be transparent yet all his historical records are sealed. Makes you go hmmmm. It's not being racists, it's just being curious on why all the secrets.

    Sorry but it is racist.

    March 29, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Bob

    Only one Presidential candidate was born outside the US and it was John McCain who was born in Panama. I guess Trump is saying a hospital document with signatures that could have been made up "trumps" an official record like Obama has produced. I guess the newpaper announcements showing Obama being born in Hawai are bogus also. In addition, I guess the fact that he was born to a US citizen no longer makes you a US citizen. I'll can't wait to tell my older sister who was born in France while my father was stationed there with the Air Force that she needs to go back to France because she's no longer a US citizen.

    March 29, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Zeflik

    How long di it take to forge turmp's birth certificate? who did the forging? And how much did it cost? Of coursse, Mr. Trump should have an opportunity to prove tha his so called "birth certiciate" is not forged.

    March 29, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. DaveL

    Trump is just another egocentric moron who thinks he should be "King of the Land"...The problem with people like this is that they are surrounded by people who are very patronizing to them for their own purposes and Morons like Trump begin to believe the garbage they are feed...and unfortunately also have the money to act on their own diluted beliefs. The Republicans have nothing but lunatics to run in 2012... They have already proven they are counterproductive when elected to any office...from Governor Walker of Wisconsin to Speaker of the House Boehner... I will be happy to vote Democrat...while not perfect...they pay far more attention to the issues that really concern average citizens...Well maybe not Tea-Bagging Bible Thumping Brown Shirt Republicans...but no one should pay attention to that lunatic group!

    March 29, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. SharedGum

    CNN, you should be ashamed of releasing these stories. Yes, you have stated on numerous occasions that Obama had indeed been born here, but that's not how things work. People read things and think that there is doubt about whether he was legitimately born here because someone like Trump is speculating (or seeking attention). Only 46% of the survey respondents definitely think that he was born here, which I find very sad. It speaks volumes about the level of the American education and willingness to research issues prior to forming an opinion (in other words, if you repeat something over and over, it becomes true). This also means that an irrational minority like the birthers can have a significant impact on public opinion. I have yet to see a Republican go on a crusade against these guys. Sure, they halfheartedly say that they believe the president, but they do not go far enough in condemning this behavior. Why? – well, they don't want to anger their base. And if this group is the base of the Republican Party, that speaks volumes about the Party.

    March 29, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Trump brags that he's good at swindling and lying to people (he's proud of the fact that he "screwed" Kaddafi, by defrauding him ... BTW, shouldn't Trump be arrested for committing this crime?).

    Folks, do you really think that Trump wouldn't do the same to our country if he had half a chance?

    Regarding his supposed business acumen, Trump bankrupted his own casino – A CASINO, WHERE THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS!!!!

    You know how hard it is to DO that?

    Trump is a joke, a con man, a hairsprayed, overly-made-up buffoon!

    March 29, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Futon Torpedo

    Mr. Trump may have been born in the U.S. but his hair isn't american...heck it isnt from this planet!

    March 29, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Greg

    Trump makes a point that Obama can put the issue aside by showing a certificate. A mother that traveled overseas extensively and a foreign father does make the birth location somewhat iffy. You people trying to help Obama hurt him more than you do Trump. No one gives evidence either way, so the noise non-birthers make is just as annoying birthers. Obama can silence the noise if he wants.

    March 29, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. al in memphis

    It's clear Trump has no idea of government or political issues when this is all he can talk about. Instead of showing us your birth certificate, why not show us what can really get your elected as president - how to become a millionaire thru bankrupty.

    BTW– I'm offering a new service that will issue presidential-level certified birth certificate. For $19.99, you can have a GPS documented birth certificate for all future presidential hopeful. For an extra $100, I will also certify if you can see Russia from your doorstep.

    March 29, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Joe

    I absence of a birth certificate does not make one not a natural born citizen.

    March 29, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. DemoCommunists for a Better Way - Steal the Wealth, Bankrupt America

    The Donald sure knows how to get himself publicity doesn't he? Using the looney lefties to create all this stir in the media which costs him ZILCH The guy is a freakin genius!

    March 29, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Michael in Houston

    How incredibly sad for America. The dialogue coming from the right, its tone, its incessant droning of stupidity and its never ending fueling of inaccuarcy and blatant pathological lying has taken over this Nation like a vicious cancer. At the same time, the bar has been lowered to the point that now, people like Newt, Bachmann, Palin, Santorum, Trump, all want to take over. People like Rush, Beck, and Hannity have captured the mindless and feed them daily with their garbage making it possible for the worst among us to be seen as the best. Its not really funny or entertaining any more. It is dangerous to America.

    March 29, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. mike

    Trump is a joke and everyone knows that he is talking crap this issue already went to the supreme court lets get real this has been talk about and talk about and there is no proof that he is not citizen because if there was we would have already heard about it trump just made himself look like a fool and now he is trying to clear his name or he will never live this down

    March 29, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. azmary

    @ betterdays, even as recently as 1980 when our son was born, the hospital's birth announcement in the local paper was all it took to apply for his social security card. That announcement only listed our names, so SS had to take our word to it as to what his name should be on his SS card since he was only five days old and could not speak for himself.

    March 29, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. keeth in cali

    If it's good enough for the Roberts Supreme Court, it should be good enough for Trump.

    March 29, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Terise

    "I can assure you, Mr. Trump is a U.S. citizen," Trump aide and lawyer said" How can they assure us were they there when Donald mother gave birth to him. No one knows for certain if Donald Trump is a US Citizen I don't believe Donald Trump is a US citizen

    March 29, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. trumped

    better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. trump is sinking any iota of credibility and competency and should save his campaign money. associating himself with retards negates any shred of social intelligence he has ever shown, which ain't a whole lot.

    March 29, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Montanan

    I will take The Donald's word for it that he is an American citizen, but it is up to others to decide for themselves whether or not he is. There are legitimate questions being asked and he should stand up and answer them like a man. I heard from a reliable source that he was born in Germany, though.

    March 29, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Realistic

    Since republicans can not come up with any real issues to talk about, lets go back to the birther issue. Here is the thing, When someone I know applied for their citizenship and filled out the paper work, a small error was made and they had to re-do it all over again. Now with this small error, they were made to re-fill and re-pay for the error.Now imagine the someone going to have the *keys to nuclear weapon* and have authority over the military and all the other things the president is in charge of, you think someone would not make sure of everything? Think about it, one error made and it was caught right away. You think someone whose running for president would not have to go thru the ringer to just make sure? You think some gov't agency with 3 letter acroymn in the gov't whose doesn't really exsist is going to allow someone after 9-11 become president without cross checking everything, especially with the name Barrack Hussien Obama whose father was from Kenya just slip by and become president? If you truly believe that than you are beyond help.

    March 29, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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