It turns out Ben Carson and Mike Pence didn’t need to pressure Donald Trump to finally renounce birtherism this week, because at some point the candidate traveled back in time and accepted that President Obama was born in Hawaii.
Rudy Giuliani revealed this development on Thursday night during a very contentious edition of MSNBC’s Hardball, in which Chris Matthews tried to confine the Trump surrogate to facts that are true in the timeline the rest of us occupy. “He was born in the United States. Do you confirm that? Do you agree with that?” Matthews asked. “I confirm that, and Donald Trump now confirms that,” Giuliani answered.
Matthews demanded to know when exactly this momentous shift took place. “He did two years ago — two years ago — three years ago,” Giuliani claimed, later changing his answer to up to five years ago.
He then tried to get Giuliani to commit to having Trump call Obama a legitimate president within the next 24 hours, but the former mayor said that would be unnecessary, as “he has said it already.” Giuliani also suggested it’s unfair that Trump is known as the birther-in-chief when “he picked this up from Hillary Clinton when she was viciously attacking him.”
As the Washington Post notes, neither of these statements are true. But if we’ve learned anything from Trump’s vocal 2003 campaign against the invasion of Iraq, it’s that if you repeat a lie often enough, eventually people will just accept it as fact.