Trump dodges birther questions
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Sunday refused to answer several questions about whether President Obama was born in the United States, adding, however, that “some people” have already said there is a Muslim in the White House.
“So for the record, was President Obama born in the United States?” George Stephanopoulos asked during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
“Well, you know, I don’t get into it, George,” Trump responded. “I think about jobs. I’m talking about the military. I don’t get into it. I mean they ask that question, and I just want to talk about the things, because frankly, it’s of no longer of interest to me. We’re beyond that. And it’s just something I don’t talk about.
“I want to talk about the military. I want to talk about the vets and how badly they’re treated. I want to talk about jobs. I don’t get it that, George.”
Stephanopoulos then said the way to get beyond the issue “is to answer yes or no.”
“Well, that’s — that’s possible, but I don’t get into it and I just don’t talk about it.” Trump relied.
“President Obama was born in the United States,” Stephanopoulos later said. “You’ve raised it many times. And he’s not a Muslim?”
“George, you have raised the question,” Trump answered. “I haven’t raised the question. I don’t talk about it, and I don’t like talking about somebody else’s faith. He talks about his faith, and he can do that. But I don’t talk about other people’s faith. It’s not appropriate for me to talk about somebody else’s faith.”
Trump did go a bit further on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” however, when asked whether he would support a Muslim in the White House.
“Would I be comfortable? I don’t know if we have to address it right now,” Trump said. “I mean, some people have said it already happened, frankly.”
Trump did not explicitly say Obama is a Muslim, but noted, “in all fairness, he said he was a Christian and he said he is a Christian.”
Trump on Saturday said he’s not “morally obligated to defend the president” against inaccurate claims from supporters.
Trump blasted out a series of tweets amid mounting criticism that he did not cut off an event attendee who questioned President Obama’s citizenship and religion.
Trump repeatedly expressed doubt that Obama was born in the United States in the run-up to the 2012 election.
Obama eventually released his birth certificate, showing that he was born in Honolulu in 1961.
— Timothy Cama contributed to this report, which was updated at 11:55 a.m.