Anderson Cooper took on Donald Trump and his purported "Magnum P.I."-like team of Obama birth certificate investigators with an investigation of his own.
CNN sent its own team -- led by Gary Tuchman -- to Hawaii to interview the state's former health department director to "investigate the myth that won't die: that the president was not born in the United States."
Dr. Chiyome Fukino, who happens to be a Republican, told CNN she saw Obama's birth certificate and that "it was absolutely authentic" and the president "was absolutely born here in the state of Hawaii."
Cooper then presented the report to Trump, who had called into the show -- and things got a wee bit testy.
Via the CNN transcript:
Cooper: You’ve said repeatedly that you have investigators in Hawaii looking into the president’s birth certificate that you’re looking into it very very strongly, that’s a quote. In another interview, you said that your investigators quote can’t believe what they’re finding. We’ve had a team in Hawaii, talking to everyone in the state health department to the school where Obama’s mother went, other families who were in the hospital at the same time as when he was born, none of them say they’ve been contacted by anyone working for you.
Trump: Well maybe they’re not saying and maybe they’re not contacting the same people Anderson. There’s a lot of people in Hawaii. And frankly it’s hard to believe he just doesn’t issue his birth certificate. It would be so easy to do if in fact he has one. And a birth certificate is not a certificate of live birth, which is a much much lower standard as you know.
Cooper: Can you name even one person your investigators have talked to? Just one?
Trump: It’s not appropriate.
Cooper: Just one?
Trump: It’s not appropriate Anderson, you would say the same thing if I asked you that question.
Cooper: Do you in fact have investigators on the ground?
Trump: Anderson, I told you, and you made two statements at the beginning, 100 percent correct. It’s 100 percent correct, of course I do. [...]
Cooper: We’ve interviewed the former director of the Hawaii Department of Health, a Republican, one of two state officials who’s seen the original birth certificate in the Department of Health vault. She says she hasn’t been contacted by your people, isn’t that someone they should talk to if they’re there?
Trump: Well I’ve been told very recently, Anderson, that the birth certificate is missing. I’ve been told that’s it not there or it doesn’t exist. And if that’s the case it’s a big problem.
Cooper: Who told you that?
Trump: I just heard that two days ago from somebody.
Cooper: From your investigators?
Trump: I don’t want to say who but I’m told that it’s either not there or it’s missing. I feel badly about that because I’d love for him to produce the birth certificate so that you can fight one on one. If you look at what he’s doing on fuel prices, you can do a great fight one-on-one, you don’t need this issue.
Needless to say, Cooper handled himself better in battling Trump's birther claims than Meredith Vieira and George Stephanopoulos.
Here's the full clip: