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Three Lies About Birtherism To Look Out For In Donald Trump's Speech

The Trump campaign issued a statement with falsehoods about Trump's long-propagated theory that President Obama was not born in the US.

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Hours after Trump refused to address the question of whether he believed Obama was born in the US in a Washington Post interview, his campaign on Thursday released a statement saying, "Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States."

Here are three lies that Trump may mention in his speech Friday.

1. Hillary Clinton first raised the birther issue to smear Obama during the 2008 election.

Andrew Harnik / AP

The most persistent lie about Obama's background began in 2004 when Andy Martin, a Illinois candidate distributed a press release — which was widely shared — saying that Obama was a Muslim who concealed his religion.

The idea that Obama was born outside the US evolved from that theory, and was then picked up by Obama's enemies — including some Clinton supporters during the 2008 campaign and Republicans after he was elected.

But neither Clinton nor any of her staff ever publicly — or even privately to reporters who covered them closely — suggested that there was a mystery around Obama's birth. The first public figures to embrace the theory were Republican members of the House of Representatives, followed by Donald Trump.

2. Trump settled the controversy in 2011 — and brought it to a "conclusion" when Obama released his full certificate showing he was born in Hawaii.

By that time, prominent Republicans were knocking down the conspiracy theory.

As Politico reported in 2011:

“I believe the president was born in the United States. There are real reasons to get this guy out of office,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said recently.

“I don’t question the authenticity of his birth certificate, but I do question what planet he’s from when I look at his policies,” former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty joked.

And the talk radio host Michael Medved warned against embracing what has now become a staple of the racist right: “It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company," he said in 2009. "I’m not a conspiracist, but this could be a very big conspiracy to make conservatives disgrace themselves.”

3. That he stopped pushing the theory in 2011.

Trump raised questions about Obama's citizenship as recently as January 2016 when he told CNN that he didn't know if Obama was a citizen.

“Who knows,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer when asked if Obama was a citizen. “Who knows? Who cares right now? We’re talking about something else, OK. I mean, I have my own theory on Obama. Someday I’ll write a book. I’ll do another book, and it will do very successfully.”

In August 2012, he said an "extremely credible source" told him that Obama's birth certificate was a fraud.

An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud.

In September 2012, he shared an article claiming that Obama's birth certificate was a fake.

Wake Up America! See article: "Israeli Science: Obama Birth Certificate is a Fake" http://t.co/f7esUdSz

In August 2013, he boasted about getting Obama to release his birth certificate that he said Obama "miraculously" found.

People should be proud of the fact that I got Obama to release his birth certificate, which in a recent book he “miraculously” found.

In December 2013, he suggested that the death of an official who verified Obama's "birth certificate" was suspicious.

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

In June 2014, he suggested that the birth certificate was fake, calling it "whatever that was."

Always remember, I was the one who got Obama to release his birth certificate, or whatever that was! Hilary couldn't, McCain couldn't.

In September 2014, Trump asked hackers to hack into Obama's college records to check his "place of birth."

Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama's college records (destroyed?) and check "place of birth"

He also retweeted other people who claimed that Obama "fabricated" his own birth certificate and that it was a "computer generated forgery."

"@futureicon: @pinksugar61 Obama also fabricated his own birth certificate after being pressured to produce one by @realDonaldTrump"

"@obamafraudulent: @realDonaldTrump @d18mt2 The birth certificate that you forced Obama to show is a computer generated forgery.

Tom Namako contributed to this report.

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

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