CNN: It Is a ‘He-Said, She-Said’ Whether Clintons Made up Obama Is a Muslim Rumor

Preston: ‘And then there was a photo of Obama in clothing worn by Muslims that appeared on the Drudge Report in February of 2008’

LEMON: “Donald Trump repeating his claims today that Hillary Clinton was the original birther, questioning whether Barack Obama was born in the United States back when she ran against the president in 2008.”
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TRUMP: “She was the original birther. She's the one that started that whole thing. Hillary is a birther. By the way, don't switch your votes to Hillary, please.”
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LEMON: “Today on the Tom Joyner Morning Show on the radio, I asked Mrs. Clinton about it.” 
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LEMON: “With Donald Trump and with Ben Carson over and over again saying these things about Muslims, about the president's birth place, this week people have been saying on air here and I've been reporting it on CNN and I've been reporting it here, that you were the person behind the birther -- the whole birther thing, and that you were the President -- was senator at the time, president-elect, actually confronted you about that. Do you care to respond? Did you, did you or your campaign start the whole birther thing and did you have that confrontation with the President?” 
CLINTON: “No. That is so ludicrous, Don. You know, honestly, I believe that, first of all, it's totally untrue and secondly, you know, the President and I have never had any kind of confrontation like that. You know, this is such a bad example of what's wrong with, you know, instantaneous reactions and Americans getting all worked up and people feeding prejudice and paranoia like Donald Trump. All obviously all of us have to stand against it and, you know, I have been blamed for nearly everything. That was a new one to me, but, you know, I'll just keep going and talking about what I want to do to get incomes rising and making college affordable and making all of the positive changes that we have to be worried about.”
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LEMON: “All right. Let's talk it Mark Preston, CNN's politics executive editor joins me, republican strategist Mercedes Schlapp here, as well, Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt here, and Lanny Davis, White House special counsel during the Clinton administration and a contributor to The Hill. Mark, what's the truth?” 
PRESTON: “Well, Don, this is very akin to a he said, she said situation. Hillary Clinton said she didn't say it, yet her deer tractors say she did. And it is likely we'll never know the full truth. Here are the facts. Let's go back to the 2008 presidential race, there was bit or bad blood between the Clinton and Obama presidential campaigns. Clinton state co-chair in New Hampshire was forced to resign in December of 2007, because he suggested that Obama admission of drug use would be a major liability if he were to win the democratic nomination. The co-chair, who also happens to be the husband of Senator Jeanne Shaheen also often, wondered if Obama had once sold drugs. Prior to Shaheen's comments, a volunteer coordinator in Iowa had to step down from the Clinton campaign after the coordinator sent an e-mail saying Obama was a Muslim. And then there was a photo of Obama in clothing worn by Muslims that appeared on the Drudge Report in February of 2008. That photo was attributed to Clinton campaign sources. The Clinton campaign denied being the source of the photograph and it was never determined that the campaign was the source of it. And Clinton herself did no favors for herself when she was asked during a 60 Minutes interview in February of 2008, if she thought Obama was a Muslim. Let's take a listen.”
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UNKNOWN MALE: “You don't believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim?” 
CLINTON: “Of course not. You know, I mean, that's you know, that there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he said and, you know, there is no reason to doubt that.”

UNKNOWN MALE: “And you said you take Senator Obama at his word that he's a not Muslim. You don't believe that he's a Muslim?”

CLINTON: “Right. No, no, there's nothing to base that on as far as I know.”

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PRESTON: “Those four words, Don, ‘as far as I know,’ caused many people to suggest that Hillary Clinton was leaving the door open on the question of whether President Obama was a Muslim. So, Don, it's clear that supporters of Hillary Clinton surely engage in dirty politics but we can't say if it is certain is that it was an orchestrated effort by her campaign or of it was an orchestrated effort by Hillary Clinton herself to try to defame Barack Obama. Hillary Clinton denied it today, we heard in your interview and her campaign has always denied it.”

LEMON: “Mark, every single fact check that I have said and there have been a number that have said that Hillary Clinton there was no evidence at all that Hillary Clinton or anyone connected to her official campaign had anything to do with it. And in fact, the birther rumors went back even before Hillary Clinton ran for president.”

PRESTON: “Right. And they go back way, way before when he first ran for State Senate, according to fact checkers. But really, the question on the table on what Donald Trump was trying to say today is that he was trying to connect Hillary Clinton herself to try to spread that rumor in '07 and '08 during that White House campaign. And again, we can't prove that she did or she didn't. We do know that some of her supporters did try to spread that rumor. But that doesn't mean that she was behind it or that she orchestrated it in any way.” 

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