Hillary Clinton slammed Donald Trump on Friday for perpetuating birtherism, the notion that President Obama was not born in the United States, just hours before the Republican nominee is expected for the first time to change his position.
Speaking at the Black Women’s Agenda symposium on Friday morning, Clinton said Trump perpetuated an “outrageous lie” and attempted to “delegitimize our first black president.” She promised not to let Americans forget it.
“He is feeding into the worst impulses, the bigotry and bias that lurks in our country. Barack Obama was born in America, plain and simple and Donald Trump owes him and the American people an apology,” Clinton said.
Trump in 2011 flirted with the idea of running for president, and gained widespread publicity for questioning whether Obama is American. (He was born in Hawaii.) The rumor was widely discredited as a conspiracy theory but the president was ultimately pressured into releasing his long-form birth certificate.
Still, Trump continued to question Obama’s qualifications, musing whether he had attended Harvard University and questioning his birth certificate as recently as 2014.
Trump is expected on Friday to say he believes the presdient was born in the United States, but Clinton does not want to let the issue go.
“His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie,” she said. “There is no erasing it in history.”