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Donald Trump takes back birther comments, says Obama born in US ‘period’

(AP Photo)

Donald Trump changed course Friday and acknowledged that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

The Republican presidential candidate, speaking in Washington, D.C., said “that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”

Trump had been a proponent of the birther idea — that Obama was not born in the United States and therefore should never have been elected to the presidency — since at least 2011.

By law, only a United States citizen is eligible for the office of president.

Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Trump didn’t say what led to the switch of his opinion but he blamed his rival for the White House, Hillary Clinton, for starting the rumor during her failed 2008 Democratic presidential campaign.

Clinton’s campaign responded quickly. Manager Robby Mooks called Trump’s actions, “disgraceful.”

On social media, tweets from the Clinton camp were pointed.

Obama said Friday he thought most people knew he was born in the United States, and he hoped the election to replace him focused on “more serious issues.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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