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. TomCom

    What can you say? Just a moron!

    October 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. ToldUso

    He should spend the $5 million on a hair stylist. When will this bozo go away?

    October 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    I,I,I,I,I. Me,Me,Me,Me.......................................

    October 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Vince

    Really? Afraid they can't win on ideas we're going to blackmail now?

    October 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Cmasc966

    Is there a new season of Apprentice that's about to air? It seems He only becomes visible when he's trying to promote something.

    October 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. ny88

    If 5 million people went in together and donated $1.00 each, we could give $5 million to the charity of Willard Romney's choice if he would release his tax returns for the last 10 years by October 31, 2012 at 4:45 PM. I'll even kick in $2.00.
    Of course with Willard, $5 million is pretty much just chump change.

    October 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Annirich

    Below is a summary list of the physical evidence introduced in yesterday's hearing in GA.

    P2. Affidavit of Senior Deportation Officer with the Department of Homeland Security John Sampson, showing that Obama is using Connecticut SSN 042-68-4425

    p3. Affidavit of Adobe Illustrator expert Felicito Papa, showing Obama's alleged true and correct copy of his birth certificate to be a computer generated forgery

    P4. Affidavit of witness Linda Jordan, attesting to the fact, that SSN 042-68-4425, used by Obama, does not pass E-Verify

    October 24, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Overlord_Xenu

    1) This matters, why? To my knowledge, Obama's academic past has never been called into question by any legitimate organization, and he graduated with high honors. And passport applications? What is this, a sideways Birther argument? Why do these things matter?

    2) Donald Trump, your fifteen minutes of fame were over three years ago. Shut up, sit down, get a better hair piece. Why is he even listened to? We're talking about a man who can take control of a casino, and then drive it into bankruptcy! A CASINO! WHERE THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS!

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. RRF

    I think he should offer to give the 5 million to Obama's campaign for that info.

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Mike

    There are so many reasons to vote for Obama for the good of the country, but it would be reason enough just to shut up idi0ts like Donald Trump

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Peggy Munro

    Lovely, absolutely lovely, decent and motivating.

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    This guy is a complete joke. How many times have you declared bankruptcy Donald?? I bet you don't even have 5 million to your name. Anyone that supports the treasonous republican party is brain dead.

    Why should President Obama release his college transcripts and his passport applications?? Is this another nu requirement?? Will Willard be asked to release the same things? I'm going to say NOT, since he refuses to release the same things every other candidate has, like his taxes.

    This is nothing but a witchhunt and the desperation of a party that chose a lying idiot as a candidate.

    Quick question for the Willard supporters...... If President Obama is the worst president ever, if he's incompetent, illiterate, got where he is because of affirmative action, he's a criminal, a thug, he's weak, a secret muslim, a marxist and a socialist, couldn't any old candidate beat him??? Why have you had to spend millions and try to steal the election?? I'm just wondering if President Obama was so bad why are you guys so pathetic and desperate?

    OBAMA 2012!

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. mike

    CNN your are disgraceful giving this idiot time here and on Piers Morgan tonight..yellow journalism at its worst!!
    I thought better of you not to go down in the gutter with this guy!..guess i was wrong..im sure you wont publish this!

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Diane

    Trump you want to know why neither the repub nor democrats, nor tea party people don't listen to you well it goes 1. you are good at what you do in your professional business, 2. YOU ARE AN IDIOT THATS WHY NO ONE WANTS TO LISTEN TO YOU OR ANY OF THE IDIOTS (BIRTHERS). See ya numb nuts.

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Ronen

    How about a 5000 only donation for Romney's favorite charity if he releases his tax returns? Oh, Romney probably would rather donate 100000 of his own money to not do so.

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Bob Howe

    I think Trump should also offer Romney $5m to release all of his last 10 years tax returns. Sounds fair to me!

    October 24, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. AlesterP

    Donald Trump is a JOKE!

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Publicity Stunt...

    Nothing more...

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Lee Ann

    Lol. I must amend my comment and use the proper wording "disgusted" enough said.

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. ga voter

    I have started to write something twice, but this almost leaves me speechless. I have never seen a president treated so disrespectfully in my life. Why doesn't he make a similiar offer for Romney's tax returms? People seem to be willing to look the other way about the absence of the tax returns. While I am writing, I will also say I am deeply disappointed in Billy Graham. He has said his entire evangelistic career that Mormonism is a cult. One visit from Romney and he changes his mind. I am not taking a position one way or the other, but Mr. Graham has had this stand for decades. Romney is a chameleon, changing and saying anything to get elected, and the Republicans just accept it without question. You may not like President Obama's policies, but he is consistent. He doesn't have to keep looking up what he said last week, last month, etc.

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. J

    Man, I was hoping for something exciting out of the big announcement... something funny or real dirt to cause an uproar, but this is just blah.

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. sohappy

    0fail may take the Donald up on his offer after he loses the election, but I doubt it because it would be used as evidence against him for fraud

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Harlequinn

    I think the problem here is that Donald Trump and, really, many of the Republican Wing Nut contingent (and I am not saying all Republicans are Wing Nuts, I know many very nice, reasonable people who call themselves Republicans) is that they honestly don't know the difference between "opinion" and "fact". To them opinion means "any fact that I don't like" , while their definition of fact is "anything I believe". If these sorts of people are the sorts of people other people want to represent them in the social and political arena, it's no wonder why we are heading towards becoming the most uninformed first-world country on Earth.

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Tori Lynn

    Donald Trump is yet another rich American that wants to buy the country's vote by "trumping up" useless bias toward the POTUS. In other words, NEXT!

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    idiot, I do not understand why anyone listens to this man. He can't be as wealthy as he tries to pretend. All smoking mirrors.

    October 24, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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