New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has claimed on Sunday (18 September) that Republican nominee Donald Trump had not questioned President Barack Obama's birthplace, fueling the "birther" movement, for years. Christie noted that Trump's involvement with the birther movement was "done".
In an interview with CNN host Jake Tapper on State of the Union, Christie denied that Trump had kept the birther movement going for five years. "It wasn't like he was talking — no, Jake, it wasn't like he was talking about it on a regular basis until then," Christie said.
He added: "The birther issue is a done issue. I've said it's a done issue for a long time, and Donald Trump has said it's a done issue now."
On Friday (16 September), Trump finally put to bed the birther movement but not before blaming Hillary Clinton for starting the controversy in the first place. Christie also reiterated the false claim that Clinton had begun the controversy, saying Clinton had "injected" the issue into the 2008 presidential campaign.
However, prior to his acknowledgement that Obama was in fact born in the US, Trump repeatedly brought up the controversy.
In 2012, Trump tweeted: "An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud." Two years later, he tweeted: "Always remember, I was the one who got Obama to release his birth certificate, or whatever that was! Hilary couldn't, McCain couldn't. [sic]"
According to Slate Magazine, Trump tweeted 40 times questioning where the president was actually born.
A fact check piece by Washington Post gave Christie four "Pinocchios" for his false remarks. "This is such bogus spin that we have to wonder how Christie manages to say it with a straight face," the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler wrote. "Regular readers know we shy away from using the word 'lie,' but clearly Christie is either lying or he is so misinformed that he has no business appearing on television."