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Donald Trump isn’t backing down from perpetuating theories that President Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen, a conspiracy he’s fueled for years.
In an interview with the Washington Post’s Robert Costa published Thursday evening, Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in the U.S.
“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” he said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”
When Costa pressed Trump, pointing out that campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had said there is “no question” that the president was born in the U.S., Trump remained opaque.
“It’s okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs, I want to focus on other things,” he said. “I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”
Read the full Washington Post interview here.
Trump made similar remarks earlier this month.
The GOP presidential candidate is the most well-known proponent of what’s known as the birther movement. Throughout Obama’s first years in office, Trump continuously badgered the White House to release detailed information on the president’s birth, going so far as to claim he’d sent investigators to Hawaii. And while the White House did release Obama’s “long form” birth certificate in 2011, Trump has never explicitly denounced the theory.
“Well I don’t know. Was it a birth certificate? You tell me. Some people say that was not his birth certificate,” Trump told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl in 2013. “I’m saying I don’t know. Nobody knows. And you don’t know either, Jonathan. You’re a smart guy. You don’t know either.”
Republican vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) has split with his running mate on the issue.
“I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii,” he said last week. “I accept his birthplace. I just don’t know where he’s coming from on foreign policy and on economics and on Obamacare.”