New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the issue of questioning President Barack Obama’s birthplace is over.
Christie, who has emerged as a surrogate for Donald Trump, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Trump has not mentioned the issue in years.
“The birther issue is a done issue. I’ve said it’s a done issue for a long time, and Donald Trump has said it’s a done issue now,” Christie said.
Christie told Tapper that it’s “just not true” that Trump kept the issue going for the last five years.
“Sure he did,” Tapper countered.
“It’s simply not true,” Christie refuted.
“It is true,” Tapper said.
“No, Jake. It wasn’t like he was talking about it on a regular basis […] And when the issue was raised, he made very clear the other day what his position is,” Christie added.
Trump brought up the “birther” issue in interviews for years, and many say it helped propel him into politics.
Obama released a copy of his birth certificate in 2011 to put the conspiracy theory to rest. Trump only recently said that the president was born in the United States, making that announcement last Friday during an event at his new hotel in Washington, D.C.
Like Trump, Christie pointed the finger at Hillary Clinton, saying the birther claim was “an issue that Mrs. Clinton also injected” into the 2008 Democratic primary. Journalists from various outlets have debunked that claim.
Trump’s campaign is now trying to distance the candidate from the movement. When asked about it, Sunday, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway deflected.
Host John Dickerson asked why Trump “advocated something for five years that was a lie.”
“Well, you’re going to have to ask him,” Conway replied before adding that Trump “put everything out on the table on Friday. Those are his words. He does things on his terms, on his timeline.”