U.S. President Barack Obama would not be drawn into the fray on Friday as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sought to clarify his previously stated skepticism that Obama was born in the United States.
“I am shocked that a question like that would come up at a time when we’ve got so many other things to do. Well, I’m not that shocked, actually. It’s fairly typical. We’ve got other business to attend to. I was pretty confident about where I was born. I think most people were as well and my hope would be that the presidential election reflects more serious issues than that,” Obama said.
In a Washington Post interview on Thursday, Trump would not concede definitively that Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 and seemed to dangle the issue as an open question. Following the interview, the Trump campaign sought to backtrack on the candidate’s remarks, saying that he did, indeed, believe Obama was born in the U.S.
Prior to his campaign for the Republican nomination, Trump became in 2011 the leading face of the so-called “birther” movement, when he asserted that Trump’s birth certificate was a forgery. Obama, to hush the conspiracy chatter, finally produced his birth certificate at a White House news conference.