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April 25th, 2011
11:59 PM ET

Trump claims Obama birth certificate 'missing'

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° Tuesday beginning at 10 p.m. ET to see the remainder of Gary Tuchman's investigation into President Barack Obama's birthplace. Tuchman speaks with Hawaii’s Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie who says he knew Obama’s parents decades ago. Abercrombie weighs in on the controversy over Obama’s birthplace and explains why he has not released Obama’s birth certificate like he said he would.

(CNN) – Real estate mogul Donald Trump's latest claim about President Obama's birth certificate is that it's missing.

"Well I've been told very recently, Anderson, that the birth certificate is missing," Trump told CNN's Anderson Cooper Monday. "I've been told that it's not there or it doesn't exist. And if that's the case it's a big problem."

When asked from whom he received the information, Trump said he didn't want to say and that he feels bad about the situation.

"I'd love for him to produce his birth certificate so that you can fight one-on-one," Trump said in an interview set to air Monday. "If you look at what he's doing to fuel prices, you can do a great fight one-on-one, you don't need this issue."

CNN's Gary Tuchman also interviewed the former director of the Hawaii Department of Health, who said she has seen the original birth certificate in the vault at the Department of Health.

In 2008, the Obama campaign released an official document called a "certification of live birth" which indicates he was born in Hawaii. This document, which is a computerized abstract of his birth information that the State of Hawaii issues to individuals requesting their birth records, satisfies proof-of-birth requirements for various federal matters, including obtaining a passport. Several news organizations as well as the Annenberg Fact Check Project viewed the document first-hand and verified that it contained the official raised seal as well as a signature stamp of the state registrar.

Trump has made national headlines by questioning the president's birthplace, even saying he has hired investigators in Hawaii to examine the situation. The reality TV star is mulling a bid for the White House and expects to make a final decision at the end of May, after the latest season of "Celebrity Apprentice" concludes.

Updated: 8:28 p.m.

soundoff (387 Responses)
  1. MikeN

    "In 2008, the Obama campaign released a copy of the certificate"

    Come on CNN. Certainly you guys know that the controversy is over the long form birth certificate not the "Certification of Live Birth" that was released. A fair and balanced report would mention that difference, don't you think?

    April 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  2. Jerry Vinter

    I wonder what laws on slander have to say about this. Mr. Trump makes claim A but refuses to provide any evidence of that claim.

    In the UK, this would be a slam dunk for whoever decided to sue Mr. Trump.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  3. alexanderang

    It is only fair to ALSO ask Trump for his birth certificate and citizenship paperworks. Just because Trump looks white doesnt mean he's legally an American.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  4. Eric, San Deigo, CA

    Hawaii Dept of Health official vs unnamed source. Gotta believe the state of Hawaii over the non-state of the Trump, who is famous for making news out of nothing.

    While we're at it, let's prove that John McCain was born in the United States. He wasn't, you know, yet he ran against Obama.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  5. willard

    Im keep praying for trump that he will be more power for presdient 2012

    April 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  6. lou50

    I assume Obama will handle this like Clinton did, Democrats are a bird of a feather. how many did Clinton take out?

    April 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  7. Scott Alvarez

    I think it's funny that people that you "own" your birth certificate or "certificate of live birth" as it's commonly called. You are only entitled to order a "copy" of your certificate from the State agency that handles those requests. If a State, as Hawaii has done, goes to an abstract then you are only entitled to that. Many States are going to an abstract certificate in which more and more people will only see that if they order and ever see a certified copy of the original.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  8. Chris

    I was kind of neutral on the issue of Donald Trump until he started this nonsense. Does he really have the arrogance to think he can BUY better information than the entire GOP political machine? And here's the clincher: This matter should have been resolved - and presumably was - when Obama filed for candidacy back in 2007. Everything since then is just opportunistic grandstanding, if not outright bigotry. Even if a fraud could be proven, there is little reason to think Obama could be removed from office by due process before his SECOND term ends. Then again, I think birthers would be happy to simply keep the issue alive, as an important part of the biggest, most embarrassing smear campaign ever undertaken.

    If Trump has ONE qualification to be president, it is that he has personal experience with bankruptcy, which may be of use if the deficit cannot be tamed.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  9. TomNPitt

    I can't understand why Hawaii can't make a detailed copy for every tax payer in the country. That simple excercise would resolve the question for about half the people in the country. I'd really like to see a certified copy of The Donald's Check Book. I bet it's smaller than his – we'll just say, ego.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  10. Michael Siever (Austin, TX)

    Donald Trump's credibility for running this country is missing.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  11. Davis Todd

    "I'd love for him to produce his birth certificate so that you can fight one-on-one," Trump said in an interview set to air Monday. "If you look at what he's doing to fuel prices, you can do a great fight one-on-one, you don't need this issue."

    Yet trump continues to press the first issue as fantasy because he knows the second won't hold up.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  12. Todd A

    What the hell is wrong with people? This guy, who favored Hillary Clinton for President, now blames Obama for everything? What about when gas prices went higher than they had ever berfore during Bush's term? That didn't matter? It's Obama's fault.

    For a guy who seemed to favor a progressive agenda, in spite of his his wealth as well as his failure as a legitamate business man, has now taken a page out of the GOP handbook: think up a lie, tell the lie, repeat as many times as needed until half the population believes it.

    I wish the democrats didn't have as much decency and morals so they could try the same thing.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  13. Rob

    Why wont Obama just go and get the damn birth certificate and show it to quiet all

    April 25, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  14. Richard-Missouri

    The article is incorrect. It states that Obama's released a copy of his birth certificate, and that is false. What Obama produced was a certificate of live birth, which is NOT a birth certificate. In some states, a certificate of live birth is not an adequate substitute for a real birth certificate. As for me, I'm from Missouri, the Show-Me state. Show me the real birth certificate, and I'm good. I'm not buying that someone else claims to have seen it. There IS something fishy here. Obama is the President of the United States. He is one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. If his birth certificate exists, as he says it does, he certainly could get a copy of the real deal. However, he does not. Why? And is there any truth to what Trump says that Obama has spent nearly $2 million avoiding showing his birth certificate? If that's true, I would again say there is something very fishy. Maybe his birth certificate says his religion is Muslim or something. Who knows? All I know is that Obama could put it to rest, but chooses not to. Perhaps he is sucking in his opponents, and later will bury them with the birther issues, showing a copy of his birth certificate at a time of his choosing, and making the 'birthers' look like fools. We'll see...

    April 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  15. Paul

    even IF there is no birth certificate, it doesn't mean Obama was not born a citizen. There is no evidence that Obama was born in another country or claimed citizenship of another country at any time. Even IF he was born in another country he would still be born an American citizen since his mother was an American citizen, all his mother would have to do would be to claim him as an American citizen.
    If a challenge actually went to a court of law in order to prove Obama was not born a citizen of the United States, it would have to be proven that Obama was born in a foreign country AND that his mother and father claimed he was a citizen of that country, two things there is zero evidence for.
    A birth certificate does not make you an American citizen, your parentage and/or where you were born does, one of those things by itself can make you an American citizen by birth.
    Since Obama's mother was an American citizen (something that NO ONE disputes) and there is no evidence she or his father claimed he was a citizen of a different country (why on Earth would they) it is clear that Obama was born an American citizen.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  16. Dean

    Trump is bordering on treason at this point. Why are we tolerating this? Its the President of the United States for christ sake.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  17. Robert

    Donald Trump is living proof that being rich doesn't make you smart.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  18. lauren

    Please show me Mr. Trump's birth certificate, his high school, college, and law school grades, his LSAT score, his last three tax returns, his multiple bankruptcy filings, and how much money he has taken from taxpayers. Until he stops talking and bare his life to the public, he needs to just shut up. Exactly what Ivy League college did he attend.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  19. Marion

    My "birth certificate" doesn't even show the name of the hospital. The document sent to me is certified by the city of New York, with raised seals. (to show it was certified by NY City Dept of Health), and with the signature of the City Registrar. . That is all anybody gets. Did any other candidate have to turn over an "original" birth certificate? I think not!

    April 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  20. Rahul

    Are you serious? How desperate can Trump get? Like seriously? His birth certificate has been shown, his identity proven and the only person's credibility in question here is Trump's own. Give it a rest Donald Duck

    April 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  21. nick

    i believe Obama really has something to hide. He is the PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.A. I think he has an obligation to show his birth certificate. Why would he try so hard to conceil it??? I wonder??? probably because he has something to hide...

    April 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  22. Marion

    Trump is bluffing!! baloney that it is "missing". How can he prove it is "missing"? did the Hawaii Dept of Health tell his "investigators" so? BALONEY!!! I had to order my own birth certificate from New York State and they send you a "Certification of Birth, not an original document, no delivery doctor name or signature. It was accepted by Social Security when I applied for it. NO ONE gets their "original" birth certificate.....it is kept on file in any state's Dept of Health. How could it be otherwise? The "original" document does not even go to the birth parents at time of birth. Is Trump actually claiming it is not in the Dept of Health of Hawaii?

    Now he is threatening the president and trying to blackmail him by saying they can "talk about the real issues', if he can not produce the certificate. Unbelievable!! The hutzpah of this man is beyond belief.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  23. David L.

    The latest in a string of publicity stunts to promote the TV show. I used to respect Trump as a business man, but I'm starting to see him for what he really is, a cheap pimp for his own wares.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  24. Gordon

    I wonder if Donald Trump realizes that most people consider him to be a narcissistic baboon. He loves to pretend that he is important, and that he is seriously thinking about running for president. A friend of mine is an 'insider' at Trump's organization, and tells me that Trump not only is not rich, but is possibly once again facing bankruptcy. Whether that is true of not I don't know, but he's been there and done that, so it is definitely a real possibility. He will do anything he can to keep his name in the news, which only insecure people do. Hopefully my fellow Americans realize all of this, and ignore his diatribes.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  25. DanW

    LOSER! LOSER! LOSER! Just what the Republicans need, another fringee distracting them from the incredibly important work they have to do. I'm not sure it's good for the Dems – they need to focus on the same things the Republicans do, and this Trump nonsense will just appeal to their political sense of blood in the water, distracting them.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  26. RAE

    I feel like this constant bid for the president's birth certificate is just another trickier way of being racist. Would this be happening if the president was white?
    It's ridiculous. He's an American citizen. Was born an American citizen. Get over it.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  27. Lou

    Trump knows that Obama does'nt have one, that Obama was'nt born here. He's setting him up for a trap. Hawaii will claim that they have it on file and Trump would counter by saying release it. With the birther bills being proposed around the country and soon to become law, I'm afraid this issue will probably wind up in the supreme court and would force Obama to produce one. I really hope he has one.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  28. MikeInVT

    Wow, this is what the Republican party has become?
    The rest of the world must be laughing at our stupidity.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  29. Erik Gauger

    Trump, like so many hoax emails and conspiracy blogs, uses this issue as a form of coded racism, to awaken the worst in our country to a common cause. Its the worst kind of fact-less manufacturerd controversy. CNN should see that birther stories and the latest Trump gimmicks are not news, and should refrain from giving him a soapbox to tout his latest agenda.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  30. Mary Weiser

    Could someone please very bluntly address the real issue if the "birther" movement? Specifically, think about it. Even if Obama was born in Africa, he would have been an American citizen as his mom was a citizen and lived in the US for a total period of at least five years, and at least two of those five years were after her fourteenth birthday. This is the case of my cousin, born around the same time in Africa, but a full US citizen. So the only issue centers around whether he can be President or not, right? The birthers are trying to tell us that a white woman having a black child in 1961 actually was worried about whether her black baby had a chance to become President and conspired with the State of Hawaii and the newspapers to hide the fact that he wasn't born in Hawaii? In 1961? In the middle of the Race Riots? Realistically, she likely worried about whether her baby would survive and be given opportunities. Think about it.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  31. bob

    Trump's claims are getting crazier by the day. Notice that he never provides 'any' factual evidence to support his claims. Kinda reminds me of Joseph McCarthy saying this person and that person is a Communist, but never provides any evidence to support it. Oh well, history's take on McCarthy isn't that kind, and I doubt it'll be nice to Trump either. The whole 'birther' issue is making a mockery out of someone that has had a certain amount of success over his lifetime.

    I'd like to see Trump come right out and say that Obama is a liar, and then see someone in the Obama family sue him for defamation. This birther craziness has gone on long enough. It's really just a term that bigots and racists are hiding behind.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  32. Rob

    Why doesn't he just produce the darn thing & get this settled once & for all? Not doing so just makes things look worse for him. I used to think it was just a case of political, mud-slinging, BS but the longer this goes on the more I start to question the "why" in "why doesn't he just produce it & settle this once & for all?".

    April 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  33. Charles Rowland

    I want Donald Trump t publicly display his unaltered birth certificate to the public. If he does not do this, then he needs to shut his face. What a hypocrite. Oh, don't worry about your information being stolen either Don, no one in this country would ever do that....

    April 25, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  34. Robert Simms

    Amazing
    He gets to make this stuff up as he goes along
    Never answering any questions that really do matter
    And he continues to garner press attention

    So looking forward to the next bombshell

    April 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  35. Smitty

    Innuendo and rumors aren't useful. If the state certifies he was born there as you said, nuff said! The zinger "If you look at what he's doing to fuel prices, you can do a great fight one-on-one, you don't need this issue." is absurd. What does Obama have to do with fuel prices? I'm not crazy for the guy, but let's be reasonable. Next he'll blame Obama for Japan's quake & tsunami or the air traffic controllers' narcolepsy. We're stuck with Obama for nearly two years unless the right wing holds control of the GOP; then it's four years longer.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  36. Larry

    This is such a sleazy claim by Trump...he has no evidence that the certificate is 'missing' and will not name the source of his claim. Hawaii officials provided a copy of the certificate and followed their rules for certification. By making lies and outrageous statements Trump feeds our desire for constant entertainment. Too bad he doesn't stick to TV.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  37. kidi

    It is sad to see the US media give this loser time to spread his nonsense. As far as i am concerned, President Obama is a president of United state who is born and raised in this country and he deserve respect.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  38. Joe, San Diego

    O please, why leave everyone in suspense... because it keeps the interest, almost like a tv show before saying...
    "You're fired!"
    Surely the Vetting community would have caught any discrepancies... regarding President Obama's birth...
    and surely John Mccain would have used that as fuel for his smear campaign...
    since he was born in Panama, hmm.
    Trump's 5 bankruptcies definitely must mean he balance a budget and run a country...

    April 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  39. Shawn B

    Why do journalists continue to interview him? Anderson Cooper should be a journalist with better morals who would not stoop to this entertainment journalism to make ratings. Trump is a broke liar that only cares that his name is in the news. Treat him like you should treat Sarah Palin, ignore them and they will slowly wither away and we will forget they exist and we can go on with our lives and worry about things that are truly important to this country.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  40. Johnathan Long

    By raising this issue, Donald Trump loses all credibility. Who can take a person seriously when he brings this issue up? He portrays himself to be a savvy business person and yet sides with the extreme right who think a person who was not born in the US could get past all the security agencies/filters and get elected President? Seriously Donald? If you want to be taken seriously, then act accordingly. You are only hurting your own reputation, but then, if this is just a PR stunt, I bet you don't care.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  41. John TN

    You've got to be kidding??? I don't mind Trump playing to the cameras, his big ego has been doing this for decades, but this is outrageous. He can't say where he acquired this information but he cares so much about credibility he won't disclose the source? He blames the president for rising gas prices? It's people like Trump that are the cause of increasing gas prices; speculators and the wealthy that make fortunes preying on the little people. I don't mind people making money but there must be some fairness in the system. And maybe even a little truth. Trump you're pathetic.......

    April 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  42. Bill

    Some salesmen never give up.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  43. Jack

    Alright. Go get him Trump!!!

    April 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  44. stevie68a

    The birthers should at least consider that Obama's not fooling them, that they're the ones being fooled. This is a non issue.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  45. Benjamin

    wow.. this guy is looking more and more ridiculous every day... listen .. common sense would tell you that if there was something to this whole birther issue it woulda been unearthed by now.. are you telling me that with all the millions that campaign funds that hillary and mccain had that no one investigated this??? further its up to the congress to decide if he is qualified to be president, not just a piece of paper from some county courthouse

    April 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  46. jackson

    This is why we can't get agreement on even non-partisan issues: because one side specifically has mastered the art of somehow being able to be both credulous and incredulous at the very same time. That is to say they believe easily-dismissible absurdities with no evidence whatsoever while denying truths with incredible or overwhelming evidence.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  47. Bob Young

    I might have been tempted to vote for Trump, except for the following statements he has made:

    1) He said WE (aka the YS) should take over the MIddle East oil in Syria for OUR use
    2) He keeps harping on the Obama birth certificate.

    He has somewhere between 800 million -> 4 Billion USD. If he REALLY thinks the certificate is bogus or missing, then put your money where your mouth is...fork out a few 10s of millions and you will be able to find witnesses and evidence one way or the other. If he is right, then proving that there has been a deception would put him on the same "patriotic" level as Paul Revere and George Washington. If he is wrong, then it would settle the issue. If he KNOWS he is wrong (and it is all for publicity), he will not put up a dime.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  48. Darlene

    I find it unbelieveable the people of this country can't have the love and respect for our president. HELLO he has a birth certificate.... it was proven once would they question the birth certificate of Hillary Clinton if she were the president..... I bet they would...... this country is stuck in a big rut, vote for a man who had money and not much brains when it even comes to normal conversations. Trump I sure hope you give up the race before it begins.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  49. Ann Wilson

    And people actually wonder why the US has become a laughing stock around the world.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  50. rose-mari gibson

    Hi, Does Donald Trump really believe that the birth certificate is missing? Is that not a document that would have been verified before Obama got to be president. I think Donald Trump is losing his mind. Give the president time it takes more that 1 term to fix what was broken. May some americans are still racist. When will they learn.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
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