Donald Trump: Barack Obama was born in the United States

Donald Trump has today admitted that Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Following multiple short speeches general comments about the need to invest in the military at his own Trump International Hotel in Washington DC, he again claimed Hillary Clinton had started the "birther controversy", despite that claim about her involvement being widely debunked since.

Mr Trump went on to say that though Clinton had started the controversy, "I finished it. President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.

"Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again."

For many years, Mr Trump was the most prominent proponent of the "birther" movement, which claimed Obama was born outside the US despite the fact that he was born in Hawaii.

As recently as yesterday, he would not acknowledge Mr Obama's birthplace, declining to address the matter when asked by The Washington Post.

"I'll answer that question at the right time," Mr Trump told the paper. "I just don't want to answer it yet."

Mrs Clinton seized on his refusal during a speech that night before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

"He was asked one more time where was President Obama born and he still wouldn't say Hawaii. He still wouldn't say America," she said. "This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?"

Hours later, campaign spokesman Jason Miller issued a statement that suggested the question had been settled five years ago - by Mr Trump.

"In 2011, Mr Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate,"Mr Miller said.

"Mr Trump did a great service to the president and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised," he added.

"Inarguably, Donald J Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama's birth certificate when others could not, Mr Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States."

Yet Mr Trump has repeatedly stoked the issue in the years since Mr Obama released his birth certificate. In August 2012, he was pushing the issue on Twitter.

"An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud," he wrote.

Mr Trump has said repeatedly during the campaign that he no longer talks about the "birther" issue while refusing to retract his previous comments.

"I don't talk about it because if I talk about that, your whole thing will be about that," he told reporters aboard his plane last week. "So I don't talk about it."

One of his sons, Donald Trump Jr, said Mr Miller's statement "should be the definitive end" of questions about his father's position.

Mr Trump's comments speculating on Mr Obama's birthplace have been seen by many as an attempt to delegitimise the nation's first black president, and have turned off many of the African-American voters he is now courting in his bid for the White House.

Mr Miller's claim that Mrs Clinton launched the birther movement during her unsuccessful primary run against Mr Obama in 2008 is unsubstantiated and long denied by the Democrat candidate.

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