"Birther" claims debunked in new report
The latest inquiry into Mr. Obama's birthplace, conducted by CNN in a report that airs tonight on AC360?, concludes that "Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Period."
Doubt surrounding Mr. Obama's American citizenship has been thoroughly debunked by multiple sources since the issue arose on the 2008 campaign trail. Still, the matter has resurfaced in recent months, thanks in large part to Donald Trump's recent "birther"-friendly media blitz, in which he has repeatedly hammered the issue.
And surveys suggest that a significant numbers of Americans -- particularly among Republicans -- believe the claims. In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, one in four Americans said they thought Mr. Obama was not born in the United States. Among all Republicans, 45 percent said they believe he was born in another country, as did 45 percent of Tea Party supporters.
Similarly, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll taken between March 11-13 indicated that while 75 percent of Americans believe Obama was definitely or probably born in the U.S., more than 40 percent of Republicans thought he definitely or probably was not born in the country.
In an attempt to definitively put the matter to rest, CNN interviewed a number of sources who were able to confirm the validity of the president's birth certificate and provide first-person accounts of the events surrounding his Hawaiian birth.
Dr. Chiyome Fukino, former director of the Hawaii Department of Health, said in an interview with CNN that she had "no doubt" of Mr. Obama's Hawaiian origins.
Fukino, a Republican, said she has on multiple occasions examined Mr. Obama's birth certificate (as opposed to his certification of live birth, which the Obama campaign released to the public in 2008) and found it "absolutely authentic."
"He was absolutely born here in the state of Hawaii," she said, adding that no mention of his religion was made on the certificate. (Trump, in a recent interview, speculated that perhaps the president had not released his birth certificate was it said he was a Muslim.)
Fukino said Mr. Obama's original birth certificate is stored in a vault in the state's Department of Health. According to Hawaiian state law, certain public officials have access to view the document in the event of a "direct and tangible interest." The certification of live birth, however, is the standard document given to any Hawaii resident who requests his or her birth certificate.
The article points out that the president could request to see and make copies of his original birth certificate under the Freedom of Information Act, but notes that the Obama administration believes even that would be ineffective in convincing those who continue to doubt his status.
Dan Nasako, a reporter for the Honolulu Advertiser, addressed the concern that Mr. Obama's family might have faked the birth announcement that appeared in two separate Hawaii newspapers within days of his birth.
"It's not possible," Nakaso told CNN. "Under the system that existed back then, there was no avenue for people to submit information that way. ... The information came directly from the state Department of Health."
Finally, CNN points out that Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, personally vouches for the president's birth since he was friends with Ann Dunham, Mr. Obama's mother.
"Of course, we had no idea at the time that the future president of the United States was that little boy, that little baby," Abercrombie told CNN.
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