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. Sue

    Some people become wiser by aging,and some like trump lose their brain,personality,prestige and respects.We are so sorry for him that never grow up,and making fool of himself.

    October 24, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Trump should also donate 5 million dollars to a charity of Romney's choice if he shows his taxes for the last 10 years. C

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Bill

    Doesnt Trump have anything better to do with his life?

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Turbo

    Trump is an idiot

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. Carrie

    Is anyone still listening to "The Donald"? It seems he is his own worst enemy. He is the joke that just keeps on giving......to his own . downfall. Remember this is the same man who bragged about using everyone else's money to make his own profits without a dime out of his own pocket.....not a dime of his own money at resk with his elaborate and expensive ventures....like government grants to build hotels and casinos in New Orleans after Katrina! What an opportunist at the cost of the lives and money of others in the wake of the hurricane. Remember we, as tax payers supported such things under the Bush administration......OUCH It still hurts to think about those days.

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. amber

    if it's really about the charity, mr. trump, just donate the money...seems to me that'd be doing a greater service to america.

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. WhompWhomp

    Donald Trump=Moron....
    Thank you for your time

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. farmwife1972

    Trump is a big joke!!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Susan

    This is his big announcement? Well, Obama should say that he'll release his transcript when Romney releases 10 years of his tax returns (or however many Obama has released.)

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. hk

    One big sleaze. One of the worst businessmen in real estate. Total embarassment to the United States.

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. bruce

    Why is Trump not the most hated person in America?

    October 24, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. hk

    Just one word. BORING!

    October 24, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. crasch

    Really asking for his Passport. I'm pretty sure the Secret Service is going to ax that one.

    October 24, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. 4moreyears

    Donald Trump is CRAY CRAY

    October 24, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. lili

    Stop giving this angry blimp air time!! Shame on Trump...as a hater, he has stooped to the lowest level during this poolitical season!!

    October 24, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. warped one

    Hmm. I seem to recall the Donald promising to release his tax records when Obama produced a full birth certificate. To borrow a line from Caddyshack: "Wellllll, Donald? We're waaaaaiting." I wonder if Trump will offer a similar donation to a charity of Mitt Romney's choice in exchange for a few years worth of complete tax returns. After all, we wouldn't want to make ourselves look hypocritical, would we??

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. maltygeezer

    I'm offering $100 million to Mitt Romney's favorite company in China if he will release ten more years of his tax returns by the end of this week. OK, I don't have the money, but I'm not worried about having to come up with it.

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  18. Trevor

    What have politics in America come to? I am thankful I live in a country where I have the freedom to vote, I take this right seriously when selecting who I feel is best to run this country. Others seem to like to make a mockery of our great country. I assure you Mr. Trump, this is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind.

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  19. pico

    man i can not beleive that had respect for this joke

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. CB

    Here he goes again. He is crazzzzzy !!!!

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Link

    What an idiot Trump is...In the State of Hawai'i, at the time of the President's birth, the newspapers would accept the birth information ONLY from the hospital where a baby was actually born. It's in the records, several news agencies and people who worked for the State back then, including the, now retired, person in charge of the program, have verified that fact. And she's a republican! Go away Trump!

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Nik

    I would NOT even bet $5 to prove that this guy has some mental disorder. Its apparent. This is what happens when a young good real estate dealer turns old age idiot and LUCKY millionaire with every one AROUND praises him as smart dealer 😉

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. jrw1jrw2

    I think it ought to be a swap: Whatever Trump wants from Obama for 10 years of Romney tax returns.

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. ggirl

    wow Trump you're a joke to the America Public... I'm sure all of your peers see you that way too. This is a desperate stunt.

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Dave

    I will give $5M to charity if Sarah Palin can show her high school diploma. Well, I don't have $5M, but then again I still think it is a safe challenge.

    October 24, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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