Donald Trump is still a birther: He said Obama is a U.S. citizen "to get on with the campaign"

Less than a week after (we thought) he'd definitively declared Obama a U.S. citizen, Trump says he was just kidding

Published September 22, 2016 9:57PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/AP/John Locher/Photo montage by Salon)
(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/AP/John Locher/Photo montage by Salon)

In a hurried interview on Wednesday, Donald Trump admitted he said President Barack Obama was a natural-born U.S. citizen only in order to "get on with the campaign."

Before his rally in Toledo on Wednesday, the Republican presidential nominee — who was over an hour late — answered just three questions from a reporter from Columbus, Ohio-based ABC affiliate, WSYX.

Asked "what changed?" with respect to his position on Obama's citizenship, the longtime birther confessed it wasn't necessarily a change of heart so much as a priorities shift.

"Well, I just wanted to get on with — I wanted to get on with the campaign," Trump said. "A lot of people were asking me questions," he said.

"We want to talk about jobs. We want to talk about the military," Trump said. "We want to talk about ISIS and get rid of ISIS. We want to talk about bringing jobs back to this area, because you've been decimated, so we just wanted to get back on the subject of jobs, military, taking care of our vets, et cetera."

For five years, Trump had maintained that Obama was not born in the U.S. — even prompting the president to produce his long-form birth certificate. Then last week Trump declared, "President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period."

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Barack Obama Birtherism Citizenship Donald Trump Elections 2016 Ohio