October 24th, 2012
01:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Trump's new charity drive

(CNN) - In a much-hyped announcement, real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump pulled yet another flashy move on Wednesday offering a monetary incentive in exchange for private information from President Barack Obama's past.

Trump, in a stunt designed to draw media attention and set afire the conservative blogosphere, said he would donate $5 million to charity if the president released his college records and passport applications.

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"I have a deal for the president, a deal that I don't believe he can refuse, and I hope he doesn't. If Barack Obama opens up and gives his college records and applications and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give to a charity of his choice - inner city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants–a check immediately for $5 million," Trump said.

He added that the check will be written "within one hour" of the documents' release and set a deadline of 5 p.m. on October 31, one week before Election Day…and also right as children are heading out the door to begin trick or treating on Halloween.

"Frankly it's a check that I very much want to write," he said. "I absolutely would be the most happy of all if I did in fact make this contribution through the president to the charities."

Photos: Donald Trump's empire

In an interview set to air Wednesday night on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," Trump argued his offer wasn't a publicity stunt and further challenged the president.

"If there's nothing wrong with his applications – if everything's fine, why wouldn't he do it to pick up $5 million for a charity?" Trump asked. "I think that would be outrageous, personally."

This isn't the first time Trump has called for Obama to make public such records. The conservative, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, has long been at the steering wheel for the so-called birther movement, questioning the president's place of birth.

Last year, Obama released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii to quell speculation that he was not a U.S. citizen and may be constitutionally ineligible to serve as president. He has previously released a certification of live birth during the 2008 campaign. Both documents show that he was born in a Hawaii hospital on August 4, 1961. Contemporaneously published newspaper announcements also noted the birth in the Aloha State.

In his announcement, Trump took credit for last year's release of the certificate.

"I am very honored to have gotten him to release his long form birth certificate, or whatever it may be," he said.

Trump has said before he wants to see Obama's college records, saying the documents contain students' place of birth.

"I'd like to see what he said. It would be very interesting. I don't care what his marks were. I don't care if he had good marks, I'd just like to see 'place of birth'," Trump said in June at the North Carolina state Republican convention.

Asked about Trump's announcement, David Plouffe, a senior adviser to the president, told reporters on a campaign bus to "direct those questions to Boston because Donald Trump is Mitt Romney's biggest supporter so he owns everything he says."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer held Trump to account on "The Situation Room" in a May interview, as Trump continued to maintain that "a lot of people do not think" the live-birth certificate was "authentic" a year after the document was released. Trump also declined to offer names of experts in agreement with him.

The millionaire maintained in the interview that Obama's birthplace is a matter of opinion, rather than fact.

"Everybody's entitled to your opinion," he said. "You know my opinion and you know his opinion and that's fine. We're entitled – as he said yesterday in the airplane – we're all entitled to our opinions and he's entitled to have his opinion. I don't happen to share that opinion, it's wonderful."

Confronted with 1961 newspaper announcements of Obama's birth, Trump accused Blitzer of defending Obama. Trump then alleged that the practice of filing U.S. birth announcements for an overseas birth was commonplace and done for "the benefits of being so-called born in this country," though he offered no evidence.

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Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Donald Trump • President Obama
soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. Mongoose

    What a hack this hairpiece is!

    Trump didn't have the guts to run because he knew he couldn't even beat people like Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

    What a loser.

    October 24, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. t.marino

    What a freaking jerk! Something is definitely wrong with this man, he needs mental help!

    October 24, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. LetsBeCivil

    Why does every picture of this guy look like he's getting ready to suck on a banana?

    October 24, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. RC

    Donald Trump should also offer Mitt Romney 5 million to release at least ten of his most recent tax returns. Maybe Donald will set the example for both the president and Mitt.

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Ngozichukwuka


    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. nastynikki

    trump is retarded...

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Purple

    How embarrassing and pathetic. Regardless of which side you sit on – and I am a Republican – Obama is not obligated to release anything. And Trump exploiting the charity and holding it hostage is just childish and bully tactics. You can hear it now, if and when Obama's camp responds with a no, Trump and all the other Republican figures and news channels will jump all over it and declare that Obama "doesn't care about charities". Hey Donald, if he says no, are you going to donate the money anyway? I'm sure some hungry or sick or poor children could use the money. Shame on anyone for even giving this airtime...it isn't news. Leave this 'story' to the Entertainment Weekly folks. So Mitt, do you agree with this whole thing? Obviously you knew about and endorsed it. Just cowardly. I'm embarrassed to be a Republican.

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. MD42

    Is Trump still mad about Pres. Obama's jokes at last year's Correspondent's Dinner? Seriously, if it's a check that he very much want to write, then write it. Hey look at this way, its nearing the end of the year and he can write it off for his tax purposes.

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. roughneck001

    Why conditions on charity, MORON!!

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Biaf

    Trump the father of charity.The end will justify the means.

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. whyme4

    And to think some fools actually considered this screwball for President. Mitts better tell DT to cool it.

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Dino

    The Donald's hair must be on fire again. No class, attention monger.........must have been ignored as a child.

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. nastynikki

    trump is r e t a r d e d ....

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. dcase20

    Trump will never admit he was stupidly misled by a bunch of dimwits. Fact of the matter is he will never accept any evidence as fact because he thinks he already knows everything. He's wrong and needs to just accept it. What a pathetic loser.

    October 24, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. G

    Why do you guys give this idiot so much press?

    October 24, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. nmdave

    Plain and simple Obama will never release his application to college because it says he is applying as a foreign student.

    October 24, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Aud

    If Trump has 5 million to throw around, he should give to the charity regardless. He shouldn't use charity organizations as pawns in his theatrical announcements.

    October 24, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. jersvette

    Here is a great proposal: President Obama should take Trump up on his offer and the charity of choice should be Planned Parenthood! This would put Trump in a "Catch-22" as he would then be obligated to donate to a charity that would be in direct conflict with his political affiliations. Love to see if Trump then would be a man of his word, of course the most likely scenario would end up being that Trump would find some obscure legality to avoid making the donation.

    October 24, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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