During a late-night television appearance, former President Barack Obama took a shot at those who doubted his citizenship by jokingly admitting to not being born in the United States.
Obama made the remarks Monday during an appearance on The Daily Show to promote his new book, A Promised Land, The Hill reported.
“Born in Kenya”
Host Trevor Noah commented that Obama has “an ability to inspire people to run for the highest office in the land with some of the jokes you tell about them,” apparently a reference to Obama’s belittling of Donald Trump during the 2011 White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
Some have suggested that this event motivated Trump to ultimately seek the presidency.
Obama replied to Noah’s quip by telling Noah, a South African immigrant, “I should roast people I admire more. I’ll start roasting you, man. Although you weren’t born here. But, look, I was able to get away with it, apparently.”
Allegations swirled during the 2008 presidential campaign that Obama was actually born in Kenya rather than in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Providing oxygen to the controversy was Obama’s reluctance to release the long form of his birth certificate, something he did not do until 2011.
Those rumors were also lent credence by an employee at Obama’s former literary agency, which put out a short biography that said Obama was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”
“This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time,” Miriam Goderich told ABC News.
She continued, “There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.”
Article II of the Constitution provides that the president must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, although the meaning of this term has never been fully litigated.
In 2008, the United States Senate passed a resolution recognizing Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a natural born citizen despite his birth in the Panama Canal Zone, a United States territory that has since ceased to exist.