Obama to Oprah on birth certificate: I remember being born in Hawaii

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama appear with Oprah Winfrey during a taping of Winfrey's talk show in Chicago, April 27, 2011. Harpo Productions

President Obama told talk show host Oprah Winfrey Wednesday that he was never worried about "birther" challenges to his citizenship because he recalled being born in Hawaii.

"When it first came up were you thinking, 'I hope I was born here?'" asked Winfrey.

With his wife at his side, Mr. Obama, grinning, responded, "Can I just say? I was there, so I knew that -- I knew I had been born. I remembered it."

Obama releases long-form birth certificate

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama appear with Oprah Winfrey during a taping of Winfrey's talk show in Chicago, April 27, 2011.
Harpo Productions

Earlier, when Winfrey brought up the birth certificate issue, first lady Michelle Obama said, her hands in the air, "He was born here!"

The Obamas' appearance on Winfrey's show, which will air Monday, comes as the talk show host wraps up her longtime show and shifts her focus to her fledgling television network, OWN. Winfrey has hosted the show for 25 years, but this is her first interview with a sitting president. She is ending her show on May 25.

The previously non-political Winfrey famously threw her support behind Mr. Obama in the 2008 presidential race, campaigning for him in three key early nominating states and raising millions of dollars for him.

Mr. Obama taped the appearance in Chicago before traveling to New York City for a trio of fundraisers. It came following the White House release of Mr. Obama's long-form birth certificate amid challenges from Donald Trump and others expressing skepticism about his place of birth to produce it.

Trump takes credit for Obama birth certificate release, but wonders "is it real?"

Echoing his statement Wednesday morning, the president complained to Winfrey that amid important debates over the future of the country, "the biggest news was this birth certificate thing."

"And so at that point I said to my team, look, even though this is not usually what the State of Hawaii does," he said. "Even though the Republican Governor of Hawaii, the Democratic Governors of Hawaii, all the various officials had confirmed that I was born here, let's ask them for a special dispensation where they will go ahead and provide us with the original to see if we can put this to rest."

Before the appearance, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama "considers Oprah a friend and he looks forward to being on the show."

Obama birth certificate release won't kill "birther" movement

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