An aide described as Donald Trump’s “Karl Rove” declined to discuss details of the real estate mogul’s ongoing investigation in Hawaii into President Obama, saying it would be “completely counterproductive” to tip Trump’s hand, allowing Obama to then shield himself from the investigation.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s aide, did not provide any other details about the investigation besides that “people,” plural, are in Hawaii.
Trump has made questioning Obama’s birthplace a signature issue of his campaign despite ample evidence the president was born in Hawaii in 1961.
The move is part of a political strategy to appeal to Republican primary voters as Trump contemplates running for president. According to some polls, roughly half of the GOP primary electorate questions whether Obama was born in Hawaii.
The strategy appears to be working: Trump is gaining major traction and is tied for first in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday.
In 2008, Obama released a “certification of live birth,” a document produced by the Hawaii government in 2007 certifying the state holds records indicating Obama was born there. Contemporaneous announcements in two Honolulu newspapers in 1961 confirm Obama’s birth there.
As Trump points out, Obama has never released his original, “long form” birth certificate produced in 1961. Trump has blasted Obama for not releasing his birth certificate despite vowing the “most transparent” administration in history.
Cohen said revealing details about Trump’s Hawaii investigation could jeopardize it, because it would allow Obama and his lawyers to take moves to thwart it.
The aide at one point cited a report by author Jerome Corsi to buttress a factual point about the circumstances of Obama’s birth.
Corsi has made a crusade of investigating Obama’s birthplace at World Net Daily and in a forthcoming book. But his previous work is controversial. For instance, Corsi has flirted with conspiracy theories that say radical Islamist terrorists did not perpetrate the 9/11 attack.
Although Cohen would not say anything about his investigation in Hawaii, Trump has said on television his investigators “cannot believe what they’re finding.”
In the Atlantic, Joshua Green interviewed an anonymous person who has searched public records in Hawaii for documents relating to Obama’s birth, likely on behalf of one of Obama’s political opponents.
The person described how to find two newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth and records showing the address given for infant Obama was the house of his mother’s parents. Obama’s father was living at another address at the time, the records show.