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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. Joe

    No one will ever be elected president, much less make it through the primaries, who wastes so much time on this birther topic. Birther politics won't solve our financial problems, put people back to work, or come close to ending of the wars we are involved in. Donald Trump needs to go work for Ringling Bros. as the main attraction in their freak/sideshow. People can throw him peanuts as he babbles on and on and on about birther B.S. He'll get lots of attention (top billing?), help save 100's of jobs at the circus, and with any little bit of hope, disappear completely from the internet and pages of the newspaper. Donald...are you listening? Oh yeah...probably not.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  2. Stan

    I'm not a birther, but in the interest of fairness your article should mention (or refute) the fact that Hawaii apparently has a tradition of issuing a "certification of live birth" to individuals not born on the islands. Hawaiian law reportedly permitted this because of issues pertaining to Hawaii's statehood.

    I still believe Obama was born in this country, but some interesting questions have been raised. It's better to refute them than to dismiss them.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  3. Chris

    Dear CNN,

    Please stop reporting on this. That is all.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  4. marcy Harris

    It is my understanding that Obama's 1/2 sister who it is known was born in Indonesia has a Hawaiiian Certificate of Live Birth similar to Obama's. That is worth checking, Donald.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  5. Tsegaye Mergia

    His mother never been in to Kenya, chech with the State Department. So, the question is not the birth certificate legal or not.

    April 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  6. Markus

    Trump apparently DOES need this issue. If not, why isn’t he bringing up things of actual importance.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  7. butch

    "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." All were left wing organizations with histories of outright lies. This is a disingenuous sentence from another partisan hack website.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  8. SteveS

    Where there's smoke there's fire. And what about his SSN from Connecticut. He's never been to Connecticut. And why are all his school records sealed. And just who did verify that he was a natural born citizen. Polosi, Reed, Easter Bunny. The Democrats made damn sure Mc Cain, who was born in Panama in a US Territory, had a birth certificate. Again, where's there's smoke there's fire. I hope he has a birth certificate or there's going to be on hell of a constitutional crisis.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  9. mark 725

    It is so amazing to me, that oF all the presidents we have had this the first one where his place of birth has been such an issue. It can't be because he's black? Yeah right!

    April 26, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  10. Terrence

    Man, it's very sad that we on this issue. Being a republican makes me reevaluate what direction this party is headed to. Trump is not the answer this country, to be quite honest no republican candidate is. Let's talk about the issues please.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  11. janet

    Donald trump is makin this a big deal so people can vote for him n the next election which I think is way out of proportion

    April 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  12. j ludtke

    If Trump actually is running for President, then I want to see a certificate of proof that he really is a human being. That hair(?) makes me have doubts.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  13. Nelson

    At first I took Mr. Trump seriously about his presidential bid. Now, oh noooooo! Whenever he is asked questions about the issues he always dodges the questions and begins to rant and rave like a lunatic. This tells me that in the end he will not be making a serious bid for president but he will gain all the much wanted publicity and possibly another reality show. MR. TRUMP you WILL have to give REAL answers to our issues before you will ever be considered for president.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  14. DANIEL

    I know and belive obama was not born in the US.... He was born in another country he should be fired asap... He's not keeping to his words on what he said before he was president...

    April 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  15. Edward Diaz

    What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.... I will stand for my president no matter what! God put him there for a reason just like Bush!!!!

    April 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  16. Jim P

    What poor investigative reporting this is. I love the way CNN has throughly examined the CLB and pronounced it real therefore he was born here period without regard or explaination for what a CLB really is and the authenticity of the underlying document. no one ...let me repeat NO ONE is doubting there is a CLB in the hands of Hi officials and it is an official state document. NO ONE. Since the CLB is merely a transcript of the original and transcripts are sometimes wrong, in this case don't contain all the information on the original and no expert has examined the original for authenticity what is being asked is the opportunity to examine the original and compare it to the transcript for accuracy, review the missing details (hospital and delivery MD) and allow an expert to review the authenticity of the document. I for one didn't give this a second thought till Mr Obama has spent so much resisting doing something that makes the issue oh so transparent and is oh so easy to do. "I don't want to show it to you" is not much of a reason. this is just like tax returns...i don't want to see a transcript of your tax returnsno matter who certifies them...i want to see the origina. There may be nothing here...but let the people decide that.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  17. David Edelman

    I suppose that Donald Trump, like any American citizen, has the right to check on the nation of birth of any presidential candidate, as this is one of the qualifications to legally be able to run. OK, that is not the issue. However, if Donald Trump (or anyone for that matter), publicly says he has people looking at the birth records, and there is absolutely no indication that either he, or anyone representing him, ever actually came and looked, yet they go on to claim they found clear evidence this person was not born in America, then what?
    To be exact, while CNN's Gary Tuchman was in Hawaii to examine Barack Obama's birth certificate, there seems to be no indication that anyone representling Donald Trump had done the same, yet he claims to have evidence to Barack Obama's was NOT born in this country, can Obama then sue Trump for slander?

    April 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  18. pat

    Really!? We are still talking about the birth certificate? How about you talk about the real issues republicans! You don't stand a chance.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  19. Joe

    We keep hearing this issue, but not so much about WHY it is important. Our founding fathers wanted to make sure that the president's allegiance was FIRST to this country. If we look at the decline of this country in the past two years, domestically and nationally, it almost seems orchestrated. There have been so many decisions and actions which have made our dollar and our standing in the world worse off than it was. Is it being orchestrated perhaps by someone whose allegiance is not to this country first? Even if Obama was born in Hawaii, what does his lineage say about what kind of 'citizen' he his? Maybe his actual birth certificate (and other records that have been hidden) would reveal something he does not want us to know.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  20. Josh G

    There is a blatant lie in this article. You cannot use a short form birth certificate to obtain a Passport. The passport forms clearly state it. I know this for a fact because I recently obtained a passport so that I could travel internationally for my company. In order to obtain a passport one must submit a official birth certificate bearing the signature of the clerk and the embossed state seal.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  21. nabeel

    Trump has been bankrupt so many times. Who will vote for this guy.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  22. beverly corbett

    wouldn't most of the uncertainty about, when, where, why, etc. be clarified if the name of doctor in attendance at the birth of the child be reieased like most everybody's birth certificates have the doctor in attendance's name? I've been told that in most states the birth certificate is not legal without the doctor's signature. LOOK AT YOUR OWN BIRTH CERTIFICATES AND READ WHAT IT SAYS ON IT.!!!

    April 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  23. Patrick from Minnesota

    Why is CNN even giving this guy press? Every smart person in America knows that not only is he lying (or just stupid) and he is only doing this to make more money. This is free press for him.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  24. bri

    Why doesn't Obama just release his birth certificate? Were is the CNN investigation on why obama won't release his birth certificate? Why doesn't Obama release his education records?. Who paid for his education? Why doesn't CNN conduct real journalism into these questions instead of acting as an obama apologist.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  25. Bill

    I used to think the "birthers" were a bunch of loons, but now I have suspicions as well. Bottom line: if Obama has proof he was born in the US, he should make it public to quell all the noise.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  26. greg

    In 2004, the AP sued DoD and USAF to release Bush's military records solely with the intent to embarrass him.. We were in Afghanistan and freshly in Iraq. But those who want just want to be presented his BC and academic records are labeled racists and radical by the likes of AP, CNN, and others...

    April 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  27. johninlongmont

    wouldn't it be nice if anderson cooper and cnn would GO FIND THE FREAKING BIRTH CERTIFICATE rather than hammer Trump?...wouldn't it be nice if cnn decided to play the role of JOURNALIST rather than "defenders of obama"????

    April 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  28. Liz K

    This so called "controversey" is embarrassing to most Americans. It is a trumped up situation created by people who are either racist themselves, or who are cynical and hypocrittical enough to want to play up to the racist biggots in order to get themselves elected in to office. This in NOT our finest hour and it is nothing but a smokescreen to cover the real issues that are crippling this country... a horrible economy and millions without jobs. PUt us back to work and soon the economy will be growing, we will be paying out taxes and the deificit will become managable. LET'S SEE TRUMP'S TAX STATEMENTS AND HOW MANY TIMES HE HAS FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY!!!

    April 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  29. Pedro

    So now we are suppose to believe some Gov't hack that it exists.. Hey the WH today calls this all a distraction I agree 100% your President the Country is in great trouble produce it and move on.. This is not a game!!!

    April 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  30. David in Iowa

    Donald trump is a pompous windbag. This 'birther' nonsense is juvenile. Do we trust someone who fires people to create jobs? Keep in mind Trump has filed for bankruptcy multiple times- what a great businessman lol :) sorry, Trump I'd rather see you without that chinchilla or whatever that thing is that lives on your head than any paperwork pertaining to The President!

    April 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  31. Wolf

    "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."

    Annenberg is one those organization with a socialist agenda. That's no source.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  32. Fred

    The issue is: "How did the 'birth information' get into the 'computerized abstract'? Was the clerk originally entering the data looking at a real birth certificate, a forged birth certificate, a piece of paper with several $100 bills attached, a paper with an order from his Democratic Party superior, etc.? Only a broad public look at the original documents will answer the questions. You may recall even CBS's contracted laboratory was not able to do a definitive forensic analysis of Dan Rather's cherished Bush letter- the forgery was shown by outsiders scrutinizing the scans of the originals released by CBS.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  33. Tex

    I think the odds are that President Obama was born in Hawaii and I am no fan of Donald Trump. The most telling piece of evidence to me is the contemporaneous newspaper birth notice. It would take even the most extreme conspiracy theorist, probably involving aliens or time travel, to explain that one. But to dismiss these concerns as idiocy without serious investigative journalism has been ridiculous also. I had to obtain and provide a complete law school transcript just to get a SUMMER CLERKSHIP while in law school. The President of the US has not had to release his Harvard one. I have a full birth certificate, showing hospital of birth, etc. in my safe deposit box. The President of the United States cannot produce one. Family members of the President are or were illegal aliens and he spent significant time as a youth in Indonesia. With a Constitutional requirement of "natural born", these questions are legitimate ones. If they have easy answers, provide them. Identify the hospital where he was born. Provide an affidavit from someone who was part of the medical team. If the answers are as clear as the President's team indicate, these should not be difficult or impossible tasks. And I believe Hawaiian law surely would permit, as most states do, full disclosure of information TO THE PERSON in the certificate, as he is.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  34. alanwillingham

    The Constitution stipulates that presidential candidates must be among other things, "Natural Born Citizens" not subject to the jurisdiction of foreign countries....

    If there is an issue, I doubt that it is the place of Obama's birth but rather whether his father not being an American citizen but a British subject and naming Obama "Junior" suggests some ambiguity about the "Natural Born" aspect. With one parent a foreigner and one an American, and the foreign parent the father in that time, it seems reasonable to examine the requirements of the Constitution more closely....

    Moving to Indonesia may also dilutes fulfilling the requirement that the person in question be subject to the jurisdiction of the United states rather than a foreign entity. When seen in context, it suggests the place of birth was more a matter of where they were at the time rather than an expression of loyalty to, and a desire to strongly affiliate Obama as an America Citizen except for the sake of potential government benefits....

    In the end, what should be done is to clearly define what is and is not considered a "Natural Born" citizen, since in this day and time there is such ease of movement and blurring of national identity, but the Constitution demands what it does and we must make certain those requirements are met less

    April 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  35. W Darwin

    AGAIN – it is not a birther issue it is a Constitutional Issue: Are his parents citizens of the US? Show the Certificate already unless you people are afraid? It is sad and validated that the dude in AC360 segs is such a dunce; as are most journalism majors.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  36. W Darwin

    The birth certificate is a rouse! It exists just show it already. The real issue that is all the smart people should be talking about and cannot prove until O shows his birth certificate / live birth IS ...wait for it... who are his parents. Are they citizens? Doesn't matter when your a senator but it would validate Donald Trump's contention that this is the biggest con job perpetrated by the MSM (ie the bj'ers at CNN) et all in history. SHOW THE DAMN CERTIFICATE AND PUT THIS TO BED unless you have something to hide or invalidate you as POTUS like you are not a natural born citizen. Doesn't matter to the left cuz they hate the constitution anyway – it matters to 65 percent of us.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  37. Tim Tinsley

    Seriously? In my eyes a Birth Certificate is something private. If proof is required then Obam's document is sufficient under law. People read so much into details justifying their own agendas so could you imagine if there was something on there with a weird combination that caused people to think that he is less than the sum of his accomplishments? Can you imagine if he was born 9lbs,9am, 9th of Sept? Would people turn that literally upside-down and say he's the antichrist? People should really look to themselves and really practice the not so common sense rather than jumping on the bashwagon. What a weak and cheap way for anyone to attack a President who wants nothing but the best for everyone. It's a sad state when the people of a country can no longer tell lies from truth because of the spinsters out there. It's been said that a lie is best hidden between 2 truths. Countries have fallen over mis-information so be careful what you spin because you may not get the country you wanted in the End.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  38. Jake

    What is the big deal? The State of Hawaii issued a Certificate of Live Birth. Some intrepid reporter simply wants to see the source document and make sure there were no transcription errors when Hawaii went digital. Why all this secrecy? Why is it a state secret? The more Obama digs in and refuses to make public his original birth certificate the more likely it is that there is a massive cover-up going on. The press should stop ridiculing the people who demand to see Obama's original birth certificate... they know their demand that it be made public is reasonable... rather the press should turn their guns on Obama and demand to know why he refuses to release the source document recording his birth, his original birth certificate, public. What is he hiding? Why?

    April 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  39. bart

    It would seem to me that Donald Trump needs to find real issues to argue if he truly thinks he has a running chance at being President! He needs to show that he is serious enough and that he speaks for the average American by getting to the heart of the matter: the economy, the wars we are engaged in, and social issues, to name several, for starters.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  40. Angie

    So instead of complaining about where the president was born why dont the congress check out every member of congress itself where they were born and u will be surprised for example john mcain he was born in panama. The for this controversy is because the president is black

    April 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  41. bob

    Lol obama is now to blame for the high gas prices! That is absolutely absurd! I pray everyday trump actually wins the gop nomination! That will just go to show how much the repubs actually care about the conservatives of this country if he is the best example they can put forth! Just more proof that the republicans only care about big business!

    April 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  42. Jerry

    Why has CNN not discussed Obama's father's foreign citizenship when Obama was born? It that is true, Obama does not qualify to be president. Simple since Dad was a Kenyan citizen at the time, and Kenya was a British colony. Either way Obama would not qualify.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  43. Zack

    Yet, every single official who actually has access to the document says its a) there and b) definitely shows he was born in Hawaii. Donald Trump is a liar and a buffoon.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  44. Ian

    President Obama is a very savvy politician compared to Trump.Trump has his work cut out for him I honestly believe that President Obama will win the next election* The Republicans are week as water and no one has the fire in the belly to stand up to President Obama.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  45. Jarret Diles

    To Anderson Cooper and and the rest of the CNN Correspondents,

    It seems to me that the right questions aren't being ask of Donald Trump. He a fast talking, subject changing person who, when presented with questions about his investigation, answers around them. Why Anderson? Why are you not holding Trump accountable for his statements? Ask him about his so-called investigation, and don't let him off without answering it. So far, none of his claims have any proof or credibility. When he says that a certificate of live birth holds no credibility, correct him and squash that claim right on the spot. If Donald Trump wants to believe that the president isn't born in the U.S., let him. Don't allow him the time of day anymore. All he is doing with his speculations is influencing some American people. And for what? Is he even going to run for president? Maybe you are afraid to lose your job or afraid to look like a bad guy to the viewers and that's why you won't ask him the right questions and go toe to toe with Trump. I'm not! Next interview with Trump, let me talk to him. I have nothing to lose and maybe we'll get some answers instead of Trump cutting you of and dancing around your questions. Email me for my number.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  46. BruceInDenver

    If a young American male goes to France and makes a baby with a French woman, what is the citizenship of the child? Couldn't the father register the birth with our embassy so the baby gets American citizenship?

    At the time of our President's birth, his Kenyan father held British citizenship because Kenya was a British colony. Wouldn't that make him a British subject?

    April 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  47. DaveB

    Funny isn't it that there has never been a POTUS who has prevented the american public from viewing his past records. His birth certificate is missing, his school records are all hidden, and then he wants you to beleive he is open and transparent. Unfortunately, if there was nothing to hide he wouldn't be hiding EVERYTHING. IMHO, he is a Kenyan born Muslim terrorist! AND HE HAS DONE NOTHING TO PROVE ME WRONG!! You want us to believe you, show us your birth certificate, your school records etc!!
    He is the Manchurian Candidate. The faster the rest of this country discovers this the better.
    because he is rapidly DESTROYING AMERICA and what is left of the American Dream!!

    April 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  48. Matt

    Dear Mr. Trump,

    So you're now an advocate for full disclosure huh? Full transparency huh? We don't care where you were born. But how about sharing with us how you stole money from your investors? How about the women you used and left with unfulfilled promises? And how about the puppies you tortured?

    Sure these are all unsubstantiated claims, but as our future president, I thought I'd follow your example and play at your level.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  49. BH Hunter

    Obama is going to and will male a fool out of you guys! When will you stop covering up for him? He will take you down with him and his ship. Hope you like eating crow one day because its getting close to that time!

    April 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  50. Daniel

    It's a NON-ISSUE! Obama requested his birth records from Hawaii. He got his certification of live birth. You can't get a passport with your longform birth certificate in Hawaii. A certification of live birth is the more official document of the two.

    April 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
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