Irony: Trump’s Birth Certificate Invalid?

Trump relished in Proving he was born in Queens. Saying that “Somebody asked me today, ‘Can I see your birth certificate?’ I had it in my hands in less than an hour.”

And Fox News wasted no time in posting the story and even posted a PDF image of the document.

But as usual, they maybe should have waited a few seconds to fact check, because New York officials have now said that it’s “not an official document”.

So, Is Trump a “natural born citizen” of the United States? Poll and More after the jump…

Well, he hasn’t proved it yet in any case. But I’m sure that he was “probably” born in the United States.

“After several New York City-based readers contacted POLITICO’s Maggie Haberman, her call to city officials revealed that an actual birth certificate, which is issued by the Department of Health, would have the agency’s seal and also a signature of the city registrar – neither of which the Trump document has. Officials said the city Health Department is the “sole issuing authority” of official birth certificates in New York, and that the document would clearly say so, and “city officials said it’s not an official document.”

This is particularly amusing since only a week ago  Trump was on The View calling out Obama to produce his birth certificate, saying “I want him to show his birth certificate. I want him to show his birth certificate. There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.” He then went on to say, “If you go back to my first grade, my kindergarten, people remember me. Nobody from those early years remembers him,” Trump said. “If you’re going to be president of the United States, it says very profoundly you have to be born in this country.”

Some of you may remember that Hawaii’s Governor had originally promised to track down and produce a copy of Obama’s Birth Certificate while saying that he remembers Obama being born. (He was a friend of Obama’s family.) Unfortunately, his staff reminded him that it was illegal for him to do so.

Even most Republicans aren’t willing to question Obama’s citizenship. They know that it comes across as racist since there is absolutely no evidence that Obama is not an American and since white candidates are never asked to do the same.

But with Trump’s latest “oops”, maybe we should be asking everyone running for President.

Let’s not forget that Senator John McCain has publicly admitted that he was not born in the United States. He was born on a military base in Panama. And at the time he was born, US law did not recognize those born on foreign military bases as automatic citizens. SO if he had been elected, we might have seen a genuine question about his “natural born” status.

The fact is, no one really knows what it means to be a “natural born” citizen. The term is not defined anywhere in the law. And the Supreme Court has never been in a position to interpret that section of the US Constitution.

So what do you say? What should the requirement be to run for President of the United States?

What "level" of citizenship should be required to be eligible for President?

View Results

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43 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Dan Willis says:

    Born a US Citizen.

    That is what the current requirement is and that is what it should stay.

    My son was not born on US soil. He was born in a civilian hospitial in Bamberg, Germany, but to two American citizens so he was born an American citizen. End of story.

    • dwyer says:

      BUT, my mother was always worried that if she had a son while overseas that he couldn’t be President because he wasn’t born on US soil.

      That was the issue with McCain, who was not born on US soil,  and the Senate addressed it with a resolution saying he was eligible.

      Natural born has traditionally meant born on US soil.  Now, the “crazy as foxes” are upping the ante and saying that it is not enough to be born on US soil; that to be eligible to be President, natural born, that you must have both parents who are US citizens.

      Funny.  When does that stop?  I have two grandparents who were never citizens, always resident aliens?  So, when would my line get to be eligible for president?

      • Dan Willis says:

        He was born an American citizen in an American territory.

        When the drafters of the Constitution wrote “natural born”, it was clear from the debate at the time, they meant “Born a US citizen vs. born a citizen of someplace else and then naturalized”

        My son was born a US citizen and would have all of the rights to run for President when he is 35 (not that I would ever want him too)

        • dwyer says:

          The Senate passed a resolution which resolved it.  I don’t know the terms…it may have been that McCain was born in the canal zone, considered American territory or that he was born to a father serving in the navy, or that both his parents were US citizens.  I don’t know the content of the Senate resolution.  Do you?

          The issue was not US citizenship…that is granted to anyone born on US soil and is by definition a “natural born citizen”…..the issue is whether the Constitution established a further requirement for candidacy for the US President and that is the candidate must be “natural born.”

          You may think it is perfectly clear, I don’t.  As for the legislative discussion, that is for the Supreme Court to take into account if the issue were to be brought before them.

          There was another question with the first Romney who ran back in 1968.  He was born in Mexico of missionaries parents. The parents  I believe were born in American territory but before the state (Utah? New Mexico?) became a state.  Romney withdrew and so it never became a campaign issue.

          Why were you in Bamberg when your son was born? Military?

          Did you have to file any papers to guarantee his citizenship?

          I am just curious.  I have heard different stories from friends who were born to military parents overseas.

          • sxp151 says:

            was that it was considered a polite formality. McCain’s ability to run was never in serious doubt, and the Senate passed some unanimous resolution saying so, but my understanding was that if there had been a real doubt as to McCain’s citizenship, that Senate resolution would not have solved the problem.


            In April 2008 the Senate approved a non-binding resolution declaring John McCain eligible to be president, one which stated that “There is no evidence of the intention of the framers or any Congress to limit the constitutional rights of children born to Americans serving in the military nor to prevent those children from serving as their country’s president.” However, that resolution has no legal effect.

  2. Tom says:

    is a showman. I doubt that he serious aspirations to be president. This is just the easiest way to raise his profile for whatever his next show is. The birther thing is likely the simplest way to gin up controversy.

    My hope is that this is all an Andy Kauffman style thing that will eventually be revealed as a way to get bunches of “serious” people on tape agreeing with him before he pulls the rug out.

  3. MADCO says:

    Is he hiding something? If so, what?

    Is he too ignorant to know the difference?

    I never met any one from Trump’s first grade who remembers him. Why not?

    I agree with Dan WIllis- you left out at least one category “natural born citizen”.  Which I have always presumed means what it says- citizen by birth. Not by immigration, not by amnesty, not by anything but birth.  Surely the US Dep of State has clear rules on which babies are US citizens and whic are not.

    As for the birther standard advocated by Trump, it appears to be rich, white, and republican. Or any two of three.

  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    Martin van Buren.

    I remember in 1968 that George Romney had difficulty with this issue. It wasn’t what defeated him, that was what he called “brainwashing” by the Defense Dept. He really could not say for sure if he was US born as Mormons at the time he was born were going back and forth from US to Mexico.

  5. BlueCat says:

    it could lead to a lot of people discovering that those old, cute certificates are actually no good as legal documents and what Obama has is and is exactly what you get if you request a copy of your birth cerificate, the originals being on file with your county of birth. The Donald would have to send in for one just like Obama’s to use for any official purpose. Let’s ask him to produce one that could be used for an official purpose.

    • droll says:

      she realized her baby’s footprints weren’t on record with the FBI.

      Seriously though, I agree. I still have my original certificate (the official one) and was told to order a new one ten years ago. The seal (not a shiny sticker) is fading back into the paper. (So the certificate was about 15 years old the first time it was suggested. How old is Obama?) It looks like a piece of shit government issued certificate. Boring. Not suitable for framing.

      You know, like every other piece of shit government issued document. Anyway, Hawaii’s only a state so vacationers don’t have to use passports (difficult to get with fake birth certificates). How ironic.

      • BlueCat says:

        that doesn’t have a raised seal is no good for official purposes. The copies people have been getting for decades on request (I had to get one in place of my funky old 50s one with no raised seal when I needed a passport) are exactly the same as Obama’s and are the gold standard for all official purposes.  

        But why stop the fun with the Donald?  Why not ask every birther pol to produce the goods and prove it’s legit by having whatever they’ve got declared acceptable for a passport or other official purpose. Most would wind up having to post something just like what Obama posted to meet that criteria. But would that shut them up?

        Still waiting for the Donald’s.

        • BlueCat says:

          The first was a mere hospital birth certificate.  The second was an old fashioned white on black (negative) photo copy of the original.  But I don’t know if he’s out of the woods yet.

          I have the same thing and was told that kind isn’t good for official use anymore as it doesn’t have a raised seal and that I needed to send in for a new approved raised seal copy.  I did and it looks just like Obama’s and works for everything.

          Of course the fact that Trump’s is still obviously a copy, with that grainy white print on black background look, still begs the question, why can’t he produce the original?  Could it be the same as for everyone else?  You don’t get the original.  that’s on file.  All anyone has in their drawer at home is a copy.  

          So, any way you cut it, just like Obama, Trump still hasn’t shown us the original. And neither can anyone else. What maroon!

          • Guarantee that Trump’s is the same.  My wife’s from NY and her original certificate (long form, with seal) was rejected as documentation by the passport office because the seal was just a black stamp on the paper – she had to get a new one, which of course was a “short form” with a raised seal.

            • BlueCat says:

              Clearly this is a long standing plot for the purpose of discrediting real Americans’ old long form copies, forcing everyone to use replacement short form with raised seal copies, making those easily accessible to foreign born America haters so they can run for President and destroy us from within and no one will ever know the difference. It’s diabolical.  

              Next, government troops will be going door to door demanding to search the premises for any remaining old long forms so they can all be destroyed. Just to make sure that when folks figure this out there will be no real birth certificates left. That’s why they’re trying to take away your guns and your 30 round clips. We need them to defend our old birth certificates.  

              Remember, you read it here first.

    • thiokuutoo says:

      There are now certified birth certificates, which are required for some verification procedures.  Those need to come from the state or city (depends on who entity issues the paper).  I ordered up a couple of them, which has been very useful during the last few years.  

    • RedGreen says:

      Maybe his copy was transcribed by monks?

      • dwyer says:

        I was in grad school before I could xerox and toss out the 3 by 5 cards and the ditto’d book lists.  No color TV either.  I am old, but not that old.

        So, just how many copies of a long form birth certificate are  created at the time the state/country registers the birth?  One?  two?  the state gets one? the parents get one? the hospital keeps one?

        And if you lose your original long form birth certificate, and you request a copy from the state/county, what do you get???

        • droll says:

          The original long form was filled out by hand (typed or with pen) and sent to the state. Theoretically a copy stayed in your medical file, or with the hospital.

          When you needed a copy one was typed or filled out, signed, and stamped with the regular notary seal.

          The bigger issue for old folks is that the individual states didn’t always issue certificates. Like if you were born at home in the middle of the country. I believe my grandmother’s eldest sister had this problem getting into college. To a certain extent, they just took your word for it. Awkward in cases of third or fourth generation Americans who only spoke German. I believe the standards were firmed, at least for foreigners, just before WWII?

          Anyway, the answer to the question is you got a typed copy with a stamp. Just like now, except a slightly bigger pain for the person issuing.

          • dwyer says:

            But, here is the question:

            When you needed a copy one was typed or filled out, signed, and stamped with the regular notary seal.

            Who typed or filled it out?  The hospital or the state/county?  When did the states go to the computerized format?

            State laws dictate how long hospitals have to keep medical records.  Generally, it is about 25 years.

            Now,  my father was born at home to non-English speaking non-citizens.  I don’t have a birth certificate for him. (although I have just decided to try again) My mother was born at home in a different state.  That state gave me a birth certificate for her….the computerized format which the Donald and the Peter say is no good.

            At least, in New York City, the City Clerk/Registrar will say  

            what constitutes a valid birth certificate.  In Colorado, only

            peter boyles has that authority….

            Now, instead of talking about who is eligible to be president, suppose this discussion was about who is eligible to vote.  See the confusion? See all the different answers?  See boyles gloat?  See how this could suppress the vote? Particularly if boyles was questioning only hispanic voters.  

            • droll says:

              I just answered the question instead. Not well apparently! The office of vital statistics (or the equivalent) is the only office that matters here. The computerization happened sometime in the 1970’s. Boyles can say whatever he wants. This is why actual education is so important.

              You’re right, it’s stupid. That’s why I didn’t ask about Trump’s right to vote.

              My problem is that I’m not willing to stoop to the level of suppressing the elderly vote to prove a point. I know that’s not what you’re suggesting, but it’s the only way I see to do it.

              I suppose, in a way, that is truly the difference between the current GOP and the Democrats. I wish I felt worse about it.

              • dwyer says:

                the only one “educating” people about valid ID is boyles.  There has been no official response from Colorado’s Department of Health.  “Bad money drives out good”  By spreading lies and confusion about what constitutes a valid ID, boyles (and the repubs..because I think this is a concentrated deliberate effort) are creating the kind of situation where some groups of people will just not vote because it is too complicated or confusing.

                The group must impacted would be Hispanics, IMHO and of couse, the vote repressed would be that of traditional Democratic voters.

                I would like to see some kind of official response clarifying what is valid ID from the secretary of state…Oh wait.

                • droll says:

                  It’s not really the job of each state to justify its position to every idiot who opens their mouth in public. And frankly it wouldn’t help. Hawaii did, here we are.

                  In the case of Obama the certificate is valid because Hawaii says so. Trump’s isn’t because the state says so.

                  In Colorado:

                  Acceptable forms of identification when voting

                  If your form of identification shows your address, that address must be in the state of Colorado.

                  – a valid Colorado driver’s license

                  – a valid identification card issued by the Department of Revenue in accordance with the requirements of Part 3 of Article 2 of Title

                  42, C.R.S.

                  – a valid U.S. passport

                  – a valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity

                  of the United States government or of this state, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of

                  this state

                  – a valid pilot’s license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or other authorized agency of the United States

                  – a valid U.S. military identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector

                  – a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the

                  name and address of the elector. For examples, please visit:  

                  – a valid Medicare or Medicaid card issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services  

                  – a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate for the elector issued in the United States

                  – certified documentation of naturalization

                  – a valid student identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by an institute of higher education in Colorado, as defined in section 23-3.1-102(5), C.R.S.

                  No amount of crazy is going to change that. It’s valid because the state says so. That’s what our state says. What’s certified? What the Office of Vital Statistics says is certified.

                  IMO, you put WAY too much emphasis on crackpots. Want to know where possible suppression comes in? When our SoS starts endorsing laws that are aimed at… suppressing votes.

                  Education, education, education. These are the rules. Anyone tells you different ask why they hate America and go cast your vote. Tell a friend!

                  • dwyer says:

                    Thank you very much for the list.  I think that is good.  However, SOS is talking about new requirements for registering to vote.  I think registering is the issue, not the actual voting.

                    One way to suppress the vote is to create confusion about who can vote and how you register and what constitutes fraud. That is why these campaigns in the right wing media are so insidious.  They are designed to cause confusion.

                    I am old.  Crackpots have changed the course of history in my country, in my time.  I pay attention.

                    IMHO, too many “progressives” are content to say that they are smart and so they are free to ignore the rest of the citizens…you know that percentage of the voting population which put the republicans and the tea party in control in the House, almost in the Senate and all over the state governments.  

    • BlueCat says:

      Whatever archaic copying they were doing in the 50s that gives you a copy with white print and writing on black background like a black and white negative, that’s what Trump’s and mine look like.  As far as, say, birth certificates from the 1800s, I don’t know how they copied them or even if they did.  

      • dwyer says:

        Quite frankly, I would like to see my long form birth certificate.  baby foot prints and all.  Pennsylvania said I would need a court order.

        • BlueCat says:

          Wouldn’t it be fun to propose purging congress of anyone in your shoes? Let’s see what excuses the Rs would come with as to why its just not the same thing in their cases as in Obama’s.

          • dwyer says:

            And what would happen to me?  Maybe I would lose my voting rights? Citizenship?  That would be a great way to solve the medicare crisis….ship us all back to the land of our grandparents’ birth…..although I think that the EU now has universal health care….

            I would miss my country, the US of A….

  6. RedGreen says:

    What am I hiding?

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