FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton, Not Trump, Started the ‘Birther’ Movement Against President Obama

Obama Turban Photo, Clinton Campaign AP

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) claimed Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump originated the “birther” allegations against President Barack Obama which suggested he was not born in the United States of America.

But the “birther” claim originated in Clinton’s failed race against Obama in 2007 and 2008.

“Let us not forget that several years ago, Trump was in the middle of the birther movement trying to delegitimize the president of the United States of America,” Sanders said during the debate hosted by Univision and CNN.

Trump was one of the most visible of many voices questioning whether Obama was a natural born U.S. citizen, but it was Hillary Clinton who started the movement.

President Obama’s father was born in Kenya and his mother was from Kansas. Obama, himself, as born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Breitbart News confirmed that Clinton began the birther movement in 2007 and 2008 while she was campaigning against the then Illinois senator and candidate for president.

Among other pieces of evidence, John Nolte pointed out that the Wall Street Journal’s David Weigel took an in-depth look at the origins of the rumors that President Obama is a practicing Muslim who was not born in America. What Weigel found and re-reported included a 2007 bombshell memo from the Clinton campaign’s chief strategist, Mark Penn.

Nolte sums up the facts of the Clinton campaign’s birther rumors as follows:

  1. More than a full year before anyone would hear of Orly Taitz, the Birther strategy was first laid out in the Penn memo.
  2. The “othering” foundation was built subliminally by the Clinton campaign itself.
  3. Democrats and Clinton campaign surrogates did the dirtiest of the dirty work: openly spread the Birther lies.
  4. Staffers in Hillary’s actual campaign used email to spread the lies among other Democrats (this was a Democrat primary after all — so that is the only well you needed to poison a month before a primary).
  5. The campaign released the turban photo.
  6. Hillary herself used 60 Minutes to further stoke the story.

Ironically, during a February CNN Democratic town hall in Columbia, South Carolina, Sanders referenced the Democrat-originated “birther” movement. He suggested there was racism inherent in the Republican base. “Nobody has asked for my birth certificate,” he said. “Maybe it’s the color of my skin.”

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.