Birtherism definition

Birtherism —also known as the Birther Movement— was started by Donald J.Trump by persistently questioning and denying that former President Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States of America. This conspiracy theory implied Obama was ineligible to serve as President.

Start of the Birther Movement

In 2011, Trump began openly questioning President Obama’s birthplace in multiple television interviews, as well as on social media.

There was never any credible evidence that suggested Obama was not born in the United States of America.

Nevertheless, Trump continued publicly with this conspiracy theory for 5 years, trying to undermine the legitimacy of the country’s first African-American president.

Studies have confirmed that racial resentment is a major driving force behind birtherism.

What is a “Birther”?

A birther is a citizen that believes in the conspiracy theory that former United States President Barack Obama —who governed from 2009 to 2017— was not born in the USA.

If Obama were indeed not a US-born citizen, this would make him ineligible for the presidency according to national law.

A birther believes Trump’s claims and supports the theory that Obama is not a US citizen.

Obama’s Response to Birtherism Claims

Obama released his official Hawaiian birth certificate in 2008 before the elections. The Hawaii Department of Health confirmed the legitimacy of Obama’s US birth certificate based on the original document that remains on file.

In 2011, a certified copy of Obama’s original Certificate of Live Birth (or long-form birth certificate) was publicly released. Despite this, Trump continued making these false claims until as late as 2015.

Possible Impeachment of Obama as President

A number of Republican members of Congress, as well as Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich affirmed that Obama might face attempts to remove him from office due to purportedly impeachable activity.

False allegations that Obama was born outside the United States were used as reasons for possible impeachment. However, no list of articles of impeachment was ever submitted to the Judiciary Committee and a number of prominent Republicans rejected calls for impeachment.

In 2016, Trump finally declared that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States”.

Trump’s Continued Birtherism Claims

Trump has continued his birtherism claims with the current US vice president, Kamala Harris.

Harris was born in the US to a Jamaican father and Indian mother. Therefore, she is eligible to serve as vice president despite Trump’s inaccurate claims that she does not qualify.