On more than one occasion during the 2016 election I’ve had to question my own sanity while watching Donald Trump, someone from his campaign or one of his supporters claim something was factual when there wasn’t a shred of information to back up what they were saying. I’ve never seen a time in politics where facts and reality matter so little as I have with those in and around the Trump campaign.
Not only do these folks lie, but they just make stuff up — then claim there’s some sort of mysterious evidence only they can find that “proves” whatever they just made up.
It’s the textbook case of how to spread propaganda: Just keep repeating a lie over and over and eventually people will believe that it’s true.
For instance, Trump and his campaign’s continued insistence that the birther movement that sought to undermine our nation’s first African American president was actually started by Hillary Clinton.
For the record, no, Hillary Clinton did not start the birther movement.
I will repeat — no, Hillary Clinton was not the person who started the birther conspiracies against President Obama.
Once again — just in case some aren’t clear about what I just said — Hillary Clinton absolutely did not start the rumors that President Obama wasn’t an American citizen.
Trump and his campaign believe that if they keep repeating this ridiculous lie, then it suddenly becomes true.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he had a memo he would show the Hardball host that “proved” Clinton was the architect of birtherism. Something tells me Matthews has yet to be given that document by Kingston — which is interesting considering if such a memo actually existed, that would be solid evidence that Hillary Clinton was behind this entire thing.
The rest of the “evidence” these folks cite is nothing more than hearsay and them typically saying something along the lines of, “Someone who supports Clinton mentioned it back during the 2008 campaign” — without any actual proof other than “they heard.”
Just like his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway cited absolutely no evidence during a Sunday interview with Face the Nation where, once again, she repeated the soundly debunked lie that Clinton is the person responsible for starting the birther conspiracies.
“This started with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, No. 1 ,” Conway said. “No. 2, it was Donald Trump who put the issue to rest when he got President Obama to release his birth certificate years later. And, No. 3, he said that ‘President Obama was born in this country, period.’”
For those wondering, according to a Politico investigation, the “birther” movement began in 2004 by Illinois political candidate Andy Martin.
This idea that Donald Trump “put the issue to rest” is preposterous. Just because he gave some quick, throw away comment at the very end of a speech, then scurried away before anyone could ask him any questions, doesn’t mean he “put the issue to rest.” In fact, because he gave such a half-assed comment addressing his years of pushing racially driven conspiracies against the President of the United States, he actually made everything worse.
This is someone who not only spent years insinuating President Obama wasn’t an American citizen, but after the president released his long-form version of his birth certificate, Trump then claimed that “he heard” that it was fake.
Not only does Trump owe President Obama an apology, but he needs to explain to the American people what, exactly, changed his mind. A candidate for president can’t spend nearly eight years pushing a conspiracy founded on bigotry and racism, suggest that the birth certificate the president released was a forgery, then dismiss nearly a decade of trying to delegitimize our nation’s first African American president with a couple of sentences somebody else clearly wrote for him.
The fact that Donald Trump, his campaign manager and his supporters seem to think he can brush away all of that in a comment that took him less than 30 seconds to say, all while pushing the lie that Clinton is the one who started all of this, only proves how delusional these people really are.
Watch Conway’s comments below via CBS News: