Donald Trump: Cruz would "have to explain" his citizenship if he runs for president

"Maybe he’s got a good answer — and maybe he doesn’t," he tells Salon

By Daniel D'Addario
Published August 12, 2013 8:12PM (EDT)

Donald Trump made news again this weekend, speaking in Iowa alongside Sen. Ted Cruz, R.-Texas, and appearing on ABC's "This Week" in an interview with Jonathan Karl. When Karl asked him about the potential presidential aspirations of the Calgary-born Cruz, Trump said: “If he was born in Canada, perhaps not. I don’t know the circumstances.  I heard somebody told me he was born in Canada.  That’s really his thing."

Trump's involvement in politics has been notable for his particular emphasis on President Barack Obama's birth certificate and provenance. And, as he told Salon today, he's aware of this: "That had booby-trap written all over it. That was a booby-trap question. I saw that from the second it spewed from his mouth."

"They would have much preferred that I would have said, 'It's totally satisfactory that he was born in Canada.' That would've been their dream answer," Trump added. "I gave a different answer, which was not as exciting to them."

The "Celebrity Apprentice" personality, who noted that he had met and personally liked Cruz this weekend, said that Cruz "would have to explain that. Maybe he's got a good answer -- and maybe he doesn't." He declined to say whether that answer was an explanation for why he was born in Canada or a declaration that he'd actually been born elsewhere. As for whether he wanted Cruz to specifically produce a birth certificate, Trump was less forceful, noting: "I haven't seen anything. I didn't say he could run or couldn't run. I said he'd have to explain that."

Trump also commented on the recent instance of a Missouri rodeo clown mocking President Obama in what has been described as a racist manner. Though he hadn't seen the act, Trump called it "disrespectful -- you should always have respect for the office of the president," but compared it to an ad from the 2012 presidential cycle in which a figure representing vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan killed an old woman in a wheelchair.

"I have a long memory," he said.

Daniel D'Addario

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