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Donald Trump digs in on birther lie about Hillary Clinton

 (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)
(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

Unbowed by charges of racism, Donald Trump is sticking by his fictional story that Hillary Clinton tried to force President Obama to release his birth certificate.

“Hillary Clinton was unable to get there, and I will tell you she tried,” Trump told an NH1 television reporter Thursday.

It was Trump, not his Democratic rival, who spread the lie that Obama was born in Kenya and falsely accused him of producing a fake birth certificate that shows he was born in the United States. Trump taunted Obama for years, demanding release of the president’s college records to see the place of birth listed on the application.

After a rally Thursday in Bedford, N.H., the Republican presidential nominee stuck to his lie about Clinton, who has never questioned Obama’s birthplace of Hawaii.

“You look at her campaign, and everybody knows it happened,” Trump told NH1, referring to Clinton’s 2008 race against Obama in the Democratic primaries. “And I would say that pretty much everybody agrees with me. But she tried, and she was unable to do it. And I tried, and I was able to do it. So I’m very proud of that.”

In 2008, a volunteer for Clinton was fired for sending out an email perpetuating the birther tale, according to Patti Solis Doyle, who managed Clinton’s first presidential campaign. A confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton's was also said to suggest at the time that reporters look into the rumor, but no evidence has emerged that he did.

In their debate Monday, Clinton accused Trump of building his political career “on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen,” then reminded viewers that the Justice Department sued Trump in 1973 for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to African Americans.

Trump responded that he’d done Obama “a great service” by forcing him to produce his birth certificate; settled the racial bias suit with no admission of guilt; and opened a Palm Beach country club that does not discriminate against African Americans or Muslims.

Campaigning for Clinton in Philadelphia on Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama accused Trump, without naming him, of raising “hurtful, deceitful questions deliberately designed to undermine” her husband’s presidency and said he “traffics in prejudice, fears and lies.”

Trump, who occasionally refers to the president by his full name of “Barack Hussein Obama,” conceded two weeks ago that the president was born in the U.S., but did not apologize for suggesting otherwise. Trump has not explained what evidence made him finally accept that Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as commander in chief.

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