Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gained national political notoriety in 2011, when he began aggressively pushing the “birther” theory ― the notion that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.
That year, Trump announced that he had sent a team of investigators to Hawaii, where the president was born. “I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” he said in an interview on NBC at the time.
But after five years of tweets, interviews and speeches floating the conspiracy, the real estate mogul recanted last week. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period,” he said.
Trump’s admission didn’t come with an apology ― nor did it prevent him from suggesting later that he’d only made the statement for political expediency: “Well, I just wanted to get on with it, I wanted to get on with the campaign.”
In the end, most Republicans won’t say that Obama was born in America. And while Trump’s birther claim remains one of his most conspicuous lies, the real estate mogul has, for years, spread numerous conspiracy theories as if they were undisputed facts ― some of which appear to have as much staying power as the birther myth.
Here are some examples.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.