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. CitizenAJ

    This is it? This is the big deal? Man, why is this even being covered CNN. Why didn't Trump challenge John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton on their place of birth? Yes, I did, I did ask that question. Mmmm, hmmm. As "the Donald" that question.

    October 24, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Nelson

    he is so hilarious

    October 24, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Crystal Sampson

    Are you kidding? We can't even get Romney to release his tax returns, which is relevant to this campaign. How are the President's passport and college applications in the least bit relevant? Are we back to trying to prove he's not a citizen again? Put away the whip, Donald, that horse has been dead for a while now.

    October 24, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. AlwaysLeft06

    Trump = Idiot

    October 24, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. James

    I do believe that President is hiding something . There is something fishy in the College transcripts. If this is complete lie then prove to the nation once and for all this is a lie end of story.

    October 24, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. ENZO

    ANOTHER STUPID GOP HA HA HA THEY MAKE ME LAUGH. real stupidity and real nonsense

    October 24, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Sweet Jesus from what rock do republicans crawl out from under

    RIght, like this charlatan has $5 million.

    October 24, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Dave

    I am a Republican but this really bothers me. It bothered me when the small group of vets innapropriately spoke out against our Commander in Chief and this does also. No businessman has the right to try to intimidate or bully the President of The United States. I hope Trump gets what he deserves.

    October 24, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Bart Flaster

    Dump Trump.

    October 24, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Jim

    ...and my opinion is that Trump has to be the biggest A$$ in the world today !!!

    October 24, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. IRAYD84U

    Never trust a guy with orange hair oh but wait a minute it's HALLOWEEN

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Jerry

    Message to "The Donald". We will match your $5 million "charity donation" if Romney will release to the public the last 12 years of his tax returns.

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. joe

    Why would anybody trust Trump to follow through with this? He's still refusing to believe Obama's birth certificate is real.

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Bryce

    Opened this story just to read the comments form the nutters. Nothing.
    Apparently Trump has gone so far off the deep end that no one even reads the articles about his nonsense anymore – even crazy people can't be bothered with his mindless rants.

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

    Some people give just to give. Just right the check if you want to give.

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Js

    why doesnt he make Romney realesae his tax returns for starters.

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Sam

    Seems to me a double standard hearing you complain about Trump demanding the President release his personal papers, but you certainly didn't have a problem demanding Romney release his tax returns. I didn't hear any of you demanding Obama's tax returns during him running for office nor do I hear you telling the truth anymore! You're all just a bunch of talking heads who can't think or do for yourselves. Blind fools!

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. matt

    "Frankly it's a check that I very much want to write," .... Then write the check!

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. aces2jokers

    Really Donald? Really? This is just getting sad now

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. Nathan

    You would think with all his money, if he really has any, that he would be able topay somoneone to remind him to take his meds. I wonder how good Romney is feeling about hugging this guy in front of millions.

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. bertha59

    So, Donald, lets see your birth certificate...and by the way everyone will question the authenticity. Instead of writing a check for $5m maybe you should pay back creditors from your previous banruptcies? What an idea.

    October 24, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. aces2jokers

    Really Donald? Really? This is just sad now.

    October 24, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Disgusted

    PS This is the United States. We do not negotiate with terrorists.

    October 24, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. Poetic Justice

    5 million isn't bad. Obama wouldn't give Trump 50 cents for his records.

    October 24, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. Js

    Or even better hope some other millionaire comes up and asks Romney to realease his tax returns for 10 million in charity donations.

    October 24, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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