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16 Other Conspiracy Theories Donald Trump Has Pushed

Trump finally acknowledged Barack Obama was born in the United States on Friday, but he has propagated various conspiracy theories over the years, especially ones that harm his political opponents.

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Donald Trump acknowledged on Friday that President Obama was born in the United States. The conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya (or Indonesia, or somewhere else), and thus illegitimate to be president, helped launched Trump's political career in 2011 and he has been reluctant to reject the belief, despite all evidence that it is not true.

Trump's embrace of conspiracy theories is not limited to the birther issue, however. He has pushed various theories through innuendo, insinuation, or flat-out allegations for years, particularly ones that damaged his political opponents.

Below is a sample of many of the conspiracy theories Trump has pushed in recent years.

1. Trump accused Ted Cruz's father of being involved with the Kennedy assassination.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

During his heated primary with Ted Cruz, Trump brought up a false National Enquirer story that claimed Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, had ties to John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. In a Fox News interview in May, Trump doubled down on the conspiracy, saying, “I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting?”

2. He repeatedly claimed that "thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the Sept. 11 attacks as the Twin Towers collapsed.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Last November, Trump said he saw “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey “cheering as the World Trade Center came down” on 9/11. Despite the fact that there is no evidence that this took place, and no one has ever produced video of the "thousands" celebrating, Trump has remained steadfast that he witnessed it on television that day.

3. Trump accused China of inventing the concept of global warming to make America less economically competitive.

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

4. He insinuated that the Clintons were involved in the murder of former White House aide Vince Foster.

Joyce Naltchayan / AFP / Getty Images

This May, Trump latched on to a popular conspiracy theory from the 1990s that the Clintons had somehow been involved in the death of their friend and aide, Vince Foster.

Foster had been a colleague of Hillary Clinton in Arkansas, and after Bill Clinton became president Foster went to Washington to work in the Clinton White House. Foster suffered from depression, and committed suicide early in Clinton's term during the Whitewater investigation.

Trump called Foster's death "very serious" and "very fishy" in an interview with the Washington Post. "He had intimate knowledge of what was going on,” Trump said. “He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide.”

5. Trump implicitly raised questions about whether Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

After Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in his sleep this February, Trump questioned if Scalia had actually died of natural causes. In an interview with conservative radio host Michael Savage, Trump instead implied Scalia had been smothered to death by a pillow. "And it’s a horrible topic. But they say they found a pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow," Trump said. "I can’t tell you what — I can’t give you an answer. You know, usually I like to give you answers."

The conspiracy that Scalia was murdered was first stoked when John Poindexter, the man who discovered Scalia's body, said on the news that Scalia "had a pillow over his head." Many right-wing conspiracy theorists took this to mean the pillow was over his face. Poindexter later clarified to CNN, saying that the pillow was not over Scalia's face. “The pillow was against the headboard and over his head when he was discovered." But the clarification has not put an end to the conspiracy theory.

6. He insinuated that something malicious happened to the man who verified Obama's birth certificate.

How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived

7. He has repeatedly said that Muslims knew in advance of the San Bernardino, California, shooting, but remained silent.

Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

Trump has claimed that some Muslims knew of the 2015 San Bernardino mass shooting in advance. “In San Bernardino people knew what was going on,” Trump told Anderson Cooper in one instance. “They had bombs on the floor. Many people saw this, many, many people. Muslims living with them, in the same area, they saw that house. They saw that.”

Since the mass shooting, some have alleged that neighbors saw suspicious activity at the home of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the couple behind the shooting, but because of political correctness said nothing. The only evidence of this is local news interviews with two men who claimed to heave heard it from someone else. Trump took the theory further by stating it was other Muslims who knew of the impending attack. There is no record of evidence of anyone seeing "bombs on the floor."

8. He said that the government wasn't telling the truth about how easy it was for the Ebola virus to spread.

Ebola is much easier to transmit than the CDC and government representatives are admitting. Spreading all over Africa-and fast. Stop flights

9. He said the President Obama is sending Syrian refugees to Republican states.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

In an interview with Laura Ingraham, Trump said that President Obama is intentionally sending Syrian refugees to Republican states, but not to Democratic states. “They send them to the Republicans, not to the Democrats, you know, because they know the problem," Trump said. "Why would we want to bother the Democrats?”

The top recipient of Syrian refugees is Michigan. California, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, and New York follow.

10. He alleged that a protestor who rushed a stage he was on was connected to ISIS.

USSS did an excellent job stopping the maniac running to the stage. He has ties to ISIS. Should be in jail! https://t.co/tkzbHg7wyD?ssr=true

At a rally in Dayton, Ohio, last March, a man attempted to rush the stage where Trump was delivering a speech. Trump later accused the man, Thomas Dimassimo, of having ties to ISIS after a bogus video appeared online. The video, which was later taken down, showed clips of Dimassimo with a description in broken and garbled Arabic. The Secret Service said they had no information that Dimassimo was connected to ISIS, and when Trump was asked about it, he said, "All I know is what’s on the internet."

11. He accused refugees of having cell phones emblazoned with the ISIS flag (and also paid for by the terrorist group).

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

In an interview this May, Trump said that refugees coming into the U.S. had cellphones with ISIS flags on them, and questioned how refugees could afford cell phones.

“I mean you look at it, they have cell phones,” said Trump. “So they don’t have money, they don’t have anything. They have cell phones. Who pays their monthly charges, right? They have cell phones with the flags, the ISIS flags on them. And then we’re supposed to say, ‘Isn’t this wonderful that we’re taking them in?’ We’re led by people that are either incompetent or they don’t have the best interest of our country at heart.”

12. He has claimed the Obama administration is manipulating deportation numbers.

Deportations are now at a record low. Obama manipulated the numbers to lie to the public that they were at a record high. Secure the border!

13. He implied Obama might be sympathetic to terrorists.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Trump received widespread criticism in June for implying that Obama was either sympathetic to terrorists, or didn't want to prevent terrorist attacks.

In an appearance on Fox News, Trump was asked about Obama and Islamic terrorism. "He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable," Trump said.

Later in the interview, Trump went further with the insinuation: "Look guys, we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or has something else in mind. And the something else in mind — people can't believe it. People cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can't even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism. There's something going on."

14. He claimed that vaccines cause autism.

Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!

At various times, Trump has alleged that giving children too many vaccines leads to autism. At a Republican debate last September, Trump said, "Just the other day, 2 years old, 2 and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic."

Trump has claimed that he's not against vaccines in general, but that giving too many vaccines at once leads to autism. Despite this claim, there is no evidence tying vaccination to autism.

15. He claimed Bill Ayers wrote Obama's first book.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In a 2011 interview with Laura Ingraham, Trump accused Bill Ayers of writing Obama's first book, Dreams From My Father. Ayers is a former member of the Weather Underground, a radical-left organization in the 1970s.

“They say Dreams of Father [sic] was genius and they give him full credit, and now it’s coming out that Bill Ayers wrote it," Trump said. "That’s what started him on this road where he became president.” Trump supported his claim by saying that Obama's second book, The Audacity of Hope, was of much lower quality and read as it “was written by a guy that’s like a sophomore in high school.”

The rumor stems from a 2009 joke Ayers made about writing the book when news reports tied him and Obama as close friends.

16. He accused Hillary Clinton of starting the birther movement.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Bringing things full circle, at Friday's press conference, Trump repeated a claim he frequently makes: that during the 2008 Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton was the first person who alleged that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Various fact-checking and news organizations have found no evidence that Hillary Clinton has ever accused Obama of being born outside of America.

Nathan McDermott is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Nathan McDermott at nate.mcdermott@buzzfeed.com.

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