On Oct. 24, Donald Trump announced that he would donate $5 million to Barack Obama’s charity of choice if Obama released his college records and passport records. Referring to the movement for Obama to release his long form birth certificate, Trump took credit for it and declared that he wanted more information to determine whether Obama is a U.S. citizen.
However, is this really necessary? This could be just a publicity stunt pulled so Trump gets attention. If Trump truly wanted to write the check, he could just write the check without challenging Obama for his forms. When asked about the validity of the documents by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Trump declared that “a lot of people do not think” the long form certificate was a real one. However, he did not offer any names of those who agreed with this point.
Trump additionally implied that Obama’s birthplace, rather than being factual, is a matter of opinion as he stated “Everybody’s entitled to your opinion. You know my opinion and you know his opinion and that’s fine. We’re entitled — as he said yesterday in the airplane — we’re all entitled to our opinions and he’s entitled to have his opinion. I don’t happen to share that opinion, it’s wonderful.” When analyzed, this statement is very convoluted and self-contradicting. If he says “everybody’s entitled to your opinion” and right after states that “I don’t happen to share that opinion [we’re all entitled to our opinions and he’s entitled to have his opinion],” he does not agree with his original statement that “everybody’s entitled to your opinion. If Trump truly believes in his original statement, however, then he must want to contradict Obama at all times.
Because of factors such as Trump’s denial of the long form certificate’s authenticity and the possibility that he wants to simply disagree with Obama at all times, this challenge may be simply be a trap for Obama to release more of his personal information which he may not want to. However, it is a sticky situation – if President Obama declines to release his information, this could cast doubts on the validity of his citizenship. There are only a few days until the 31st, and the President’s next move will determine what chain of events follows.