Hillary Clinton has aligned herself with President Barack Obama in a desperate attempt to earn herself more support in this election. That’s why it came as bad news to her this week when new information surfaced about her involvement in the “birther” controversy that could put her relationship with Obama and his supporters in jeopardy.
During a speech last Friday, Donald Trump said he would no longer discuss where Obama was born, saying “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birthed controversy. I finished it.”
The Clinton campaign quickly fired back by claiming that the Democratic presidential nominee had no involvement in the birther controversy and that the only proof for such involvement lay in a memo from a volunteer staffer questioning Obama’s lack of “American roots.”
However, James Asher, former Washington bureau chief for the McClatchy newspaper organization, just blew this statement out of the water by saying that Clinton actually did play a major role in Obama’s birther scandal.
— James Asher (@jimasher) September 16, 2016
Western Journalism reported that Asher revealed that longtime Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal started the birther rumors himself. In fact, Clinton was so desperate to spread the birther controversy that her team sent a reporter to Kenya to investigate the matter.
“During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya,” Asher said in a statement to McClatchy. “We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.”
“At the time of Mr. Blumenthal’s conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama’s birthplace,” he added. “While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not.”
Blumenthal quickly spoke out to deny Asher’s claims.
“This is false. Never happened. Period,” Blumenthal said. “Donald Trump cannot distract from the inescapable fact that he is the one who embraced and promoted the racist birther lie and bears the responsibility for it.”
This is not the first time Clinton has come under fire for starting the birther rumors. In his 2015 memoir Power Forward, former Obama aide Reggie Love recalled the awkward moment Clinton angrily lectured Obama for suggesting the she was the one who started the rumor of him being a Muslim. The heated exchange occurred on the tarmac of the Reagan National Airport after Clinton apologized for “the whole Shaheen thing.”
“[Obama] very respectfully told her the apology was kind, but largely meaningless, given the emails it was rumored her camp had been sending out labeling him as a Muslim,” Love wrote. “Before he could finish his sentence, she exploded on Obama.”
“In a matter of seconds, she went from composed to furious,” Love continued. “It had not been Obama’s intention to upset her, but he wasn’t going to play the fool either. To all of us watching the spat unfold, it was an obvious turning point in our campaign, and we knew it. Clinton was no less competitive or committed to a cause than Obama, and the electric tension running through both candidates and their respective staffs reflected the understanding that she was no longer the de facto Democratic candidate. Her inevitability had been questioned.”
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