President Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate Wednesday, giving in to the demands of so-called "birthers" — including Donald Trump — who have continued to suggest Obama was not born in the United States, despite a mass of evidence he was born in Hawaii.
During a press conference at the White House early Wednesday, Obama criticized the "birthers" as "sideshows and carnival barkers" — an unnecessary distraction for a country that faces "enormous challenges."
“Over the last two and half years, I have watched with amusement," Obama said. "I have been puzzled with the degree with which this thing just kept going.”
"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," he said, hinting that the press should also share in the blame for helping ignite the issue. ("I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about national security and you know it," Obama joked.)
Trump immediately took credit, despite the birth certificate indicating yet again that Obama was born where he said he was.
"Today, I'm very proud of myself because I've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish," Trump said. "I hope it's true so that we can get on to much more important matters, so the press can stop asking me questions."
Trump, speaking in New Hampshire, added that he wanted to look at the certificate to make sure it is "real" and "proper" but that he hopes it "checks out beautifully." Trump also said Obama should have released it long ago.
"The president believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement. "It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country."
That sounded a bit like a swipe at Trump, a prospective Republican presidential contender who in recent weeks has been the most high-profile skeptic about the president's place of birth. Trump told "Today" host Meredith Vieira in a recent interview that he had investigators in Hawaii looking into Obama's background and they "cannot believe what they're finding."
CNN also took some credit, issuing a press release with this subject:
Day after CNN's Definitive Investigation of Birther Claims, White House releases President Obama's original birth certificate
Interviewing Trump on Monday, CNN's Anderson Cooper confronted him with the results of a CNN investigation that again confirmed the Obama's Hawaiian birthplace. Cooper also said that many of the officials his investigators had contacted had not even heard from Trump's investigators.
But those hoping that the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate would finally put the "birther" movement to rest may be disappointed.