New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie lied and said that Donald Trump put to bed his skepticism of President Barack Obama’s birthplace years ago, despite obvious and overwhelming evidence that Trump had regularly stoked the conspiracy theory known as birtherism since 2011. Christie is also the chairman of Donald Trump’s transition team (as horrifying as that sounds).
“It’s just not true that [Trump] kept it up for five years,” Christie, who endorsed the New York businessman early on in the campaign, said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” that aired Sunday. “It’s not like he was talking about it on a regular basis until then.”
“So, the birther issue is a done issue,” he insisted. “Donald Trump has said it’s a done issue now.”
“Just as a point of fact,” Tapper replied, “Donald Trump did not accept when Barack Obama released his birth certificate in 2011. He kept up this whole birther thing until Friday, that’s five years.”
“That’s just not true,” Christie shot back. “It’s just not true that he kept it up for five years.”
“Sure he did,” Tapper stated.
“It’s just not true,” Christie continued.
“It is true,” the CNN host said.
“No, Jake,” Christie opined. “It wasn’t like he was talking about it on a regular basis until then. And when the issue was raised, he made very clear the other day what he position is.”
“Okay,” Tapper concluded.
Trump has a long history of promoting birtherism, as CNN’s Jake Tapper noted in the interview. Even after Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011, Trump continued to question whether the president was born in the U.S. in television interviews and online via his Twitter account. The businessman did so as recently as January of this year, sowing doubt about Obama’s roots when asked about being a birther. In 2014, Trump even invited hackers to see if Obama was lying about his birthplace.