Hillary Clinton is blasting Donald Trump’s “ludicrous” claim that she was the first to question President Barack Obama’s birthplace.
“First of all, it's totally untrue. And secondly, you know, the president and I have never had any kind of confrontation like that,” she said in an interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
“That is so ludicrous,” she told interviewer Don Lemon, who asked her about Trump’s assertion that Clinton’s 2008 campaign sparked the “birther movement.”
Trump tweeted the claim – which has also been voiced by presidential candidate Ted Cruz --- on Tuesday night.
During the bitter 2008 Democratic primary campaign, rumors raged that Clinton supporters were swapping email chains raising questions about Obama’s heritage. A photo of Obama dressed in Somali garb was circulated to the Drudge Report, sparking suspicion that it was leaked by Clinton operatives.
Also, in 2007, then-Clinton adviser Mark Penn suggested in an internal campaign memo that the Clinton team highlight Barack Obama’s “otherness.”
“All of these articles about his boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared toward showing his background is diverse, multicultural and putting that in a new light. Save it for 2050," he wrote, according to The Atlantic.
But while some of Clinton’s backers outside the campaign may have pushed the theory that Obama was born outside the U.S., there is no evidence that Clinton or her aides authorized direct action to promulgate either Penn’s ideas or rumors about Obama’s birthplace.