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NBC’s Chuck Todd: ‘Who Cares’ Hillary Clinton Associates Pushed Birther Rumors in 2008?

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press, while interviewing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, host Chuck Todd asked “who cares,” about former McClatchy D.C. bureau chief James Asher tweeting that Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to President Bill Clinton and long-time advisor to Hillary Clinton, “told me in person” that Obama was born in Kenya in 2008.

Partial transcript as follows:

TODD: How and when did Donald Trump conclude that the president was born in the United States?

CONWAY: You will have to ask him that. That’s a personal decision, but we heard very clearly the three things he said on his own time line in his own terms on Friday. Number one, that associates of the Clinton campaign started this birther question in 2007. Questioning senator Obama’s American roots. The Iowa volunteer coordinator and, of course, as the McClatchy D.C. bureau chief at the time, now former, has confirmed that Sidney Blumenthal told him that Senator Obama was born in Kenya. And in fact they sent somebody to Africa to check it out. Donald Trump was not running for president against Barack Obama in a bruising primary in 2008. That was Hillary Clinton. Number two, Donald Trump said he put this to rest. Hillary Clinton couldn’t close it, get the information he did. Number three, you heard him say President Obama was born in this country, period. He is moving on to all the things he talked about this week, tax reform, childcare tax credits. We got the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police, huge endorsement. They did not endorse anybody four years ago. They endorsed the more popular the more likeable Clinton in 1996. We’re happy with the developments like this.

TODD: What I’m curious about though is who cares about the Clinton incident? Donald Trump for five years perpetuated this. This has been arguably part of his political identity for the last five years. So what difference does it make whether Clinton did it? Why do two wrongs make a right in this case. Forget Clinton. Why did he perpetuate it for five years after some associates from Hillary Clinton in your words.?

CONWAY: Respectfully, I disagree. It makes a huge difference as to who started this. Hillary Clinton never saw Barack Obama coming in 2008. That was her campaign. She was going to win. He beat her in the primary fairly and squarely. Then they never saw Bernie Sanders coming. They haven’t seen our comeback of the last month. She’s not nimble, She’s not resilient resilient. It’s expected she deserves it, it’s her turn darn it. So I do think it matters where it started. And frankly, on this as he has been running for president of the United States, this year, Donald Trump has talked about every policy issue that there is.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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