After playing up a election-shaking announcement for several days, businessman Donald Trump on Wednesday offered President Obama $5 million to release his college and passport records.
"All he has to do for $5 million to the charity or charities of his choice is get his colleges to immediately give his applications and records and also to release his passport records," Trump said in the announcement. "When he does this to my satisfaction, if it's complete, this check will be sent immediately."
In a video posted to his YouTube channel and distributed through social
media, Trump spoke directly to the camera, criticizing the president for
a lack of transparency.
Trump added that the records must be released before the election, setting the deadline as Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. Trump had framed Wednesday's announcement as a possible "October surprise" that deserved extensive media coverage and could change the trajectory of the election season.
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Although Trump publicized his announcement Monday morning on Fox News, he announced his offer online. Trump prompted plenty of conversation online Wednesday, accumulating thousands of Twitter followers. His name was trending on Twitter all morning.
"If Barack Obama opens up and gives his colleges records and applications, and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give to the charity of his choice — inner city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants — a check immediately for $5 million," he said. "The check will be given within one hour after he releases all of the records so stated. He will be doing a great service for the country if he does this."
Obama aides mocked the announcement by tying Trump to Mitt Romney. Trump, who toyed with the idea of a presidential run of his own, has endorsed the GOP nominee.
Asked about Trump's offer, White House senior adviser David Plouffe told reporters their questions should be directed to Romney's campaign headquarters.
"Direct your questions to Boston; he's Romney's biggest supporter," Plouffe said, according to reports.
"The company you keep speaks volumes," tweeted Lis Smith, the Obama campaign's director of rapid response.
Teddy Goff, digital director for Obama's campaign, retweeted an old tweet from Tagg Romney that said it was "so cool" to meet Trump and his wife, Melania.
— Updated at 1:46 p.m.