Donald Trump might be making the birther movement great again.
It’s still early, of course, but some of the most visible activists who agitated for the president to release his birth certificate are taking heart in Donald Trump’s polling successes. They say they stay in touch with Trump’s team and anticipate he’ll push for more birthplace-oriented investigations of Obama if he wins the election.
Larry Klayman, who heads the group Freedom Watch, was pleased when he saw Trump’s handling of a conspiratorial question on Thursday evening during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.
“The way Trump responded last night, I think, was appropriate,” he said.
Trump’s “appropriate” response came after a questioner declared his thoughts about a real problem with the United States.
“It’s called Muslims,” said the man. “You know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.”
“Anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us,” he continued. “That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
Trump’s answer was uncharacteristically ambivalent.
“We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things,” Trump replied. “You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.”
The real estate mogul took a lot of heat for suggesting that he would look into a way to get all Muslims kicked out of the country. But Klayman said birtherism is a winning position in the Republican primary.
“I think it actually boosts his chances of winning the Republican primary,” Klayman said, of Trump’s skepticism of Obama’s birthplace.
“If you took a poll among the people who vote in the Republican primary, I bet it would be a 60-70 percent combination believe that Obama was not born in the United States and that he is a Muslim,” Klayman continued. “And the guy’s question last night was not out of line.”
According to a new CNN/ORC poll, 20 percent of American adults believe Obama wasn’t born in the United States and 43 percent of Republicans believe he’s a Muslim. Fifteen percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independent voters share that incorrect view. It also found that 68 percent of Republicans believe he was born in the U.S.
Anyway, Trump’s long and storied record of demanding the president release his birth certificate doesn’t seem to have hurt him much with Republican primary voters.
Klayman said he’s optimistic that a President Trump would lead a no-holds-barred investigation of the president’s birthplace.
“It’s just the fact that he stands up and he doesn’t cower away from it,” he said.
California dentist Orly Taitz, a visible and dogged birther who pops up at conservative conferences and Republican rallies to hand out literature on her latest lawsuits regarding Obama’s alleged Kenyanness, shares Klayman’s hope. She said she feels Trump’s yuuuge polling numbers buoy her spirits.
“When Donald Trump is elected as a U.S. president, his attorney general will investigate this issue,” she said, noting that Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch—Obama’s former and current attorneys general—are covering up for Obama because they’re friends with him.
Taitz, who is such a Trump fan said she snagged a VIP-seating ticket for Trump’s event in Los Angeles on the U.S.S. Iowa the day before the CNN presidential debate, said President Trump would finally expose Obama’s secret once and for all.
“If and when Trump is elected, his attorney general is not going to be a personal friend of Barack Obama,” she continued. “And he will abide by his oath of office to seek truth and justice and uphold the law, and I believe that we will have the answers because all of the evidence clearly shows that he is using fabricated ID’s.”
Mike Volin, who runs WheresObamasBirthCertificate.com, said birther activists will long remember Trump’s valiant just-asking-some-questions stance.
“He stepped up to the mic and he said, well, experts will have to look at it and we’ll have to see if it’s valid,” Volin said.
“Trump took it and ran with it,” he added. “He didn’t have to. So he’s part of the hero gang.”
Volin’s site distributes “Sheriff’s Kits” on CD that have documents making the case against Obama’s American nationality. He said the demand for said kits has risen along with Trump’s poll numbers.
“People who’ve been on board say, ‘Send me more kits,’” he said. “‘We’re going to ramp it up now because Trump has brought it back to life—not that it was dead, but he’s brought it back in the spotlight.”
Volin said he is in contact with Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, and called him before the mogul signed the GOP leadership pledge to register his opposition to that move. (Trump’s campaign did not respond to a request to verify Volin’s claim.)
He added that some of his birther compatriots wish Trump was a little more vocal on their issue. But Volin tells them to bide their time.
“Everyone who follows me wants to hear him say more,” he said, “but I’ve been telling everybody, let’s get him in office first so he has a little more power to investigate it,” Volin said.
And he said he’s confident the investigation will come, and it will be robust.
“My feeling is, knowing what’s going on, the information I have, contact with his attorney over the past several years, yes, he will,” he said. “It’s not a vendetta for him, Betsy, it’s just simply to get the truth out. And you know what, if it’s not true—which it is true—he’ll just move on.”
As Donald Trump does.