(Politico: Rebecca Morin) — Katy Tur, an NBC reporter following Donald Trump’s campaign, shut down a Trump adviser Friday after he tried to downplay the GOP nominee’s previous comments suggesting President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
“Donald Trump may not be making it an issue on the campaign trail on the stump, but I have to tell you, his supporters believe it’s an issue,” Tur said during a segment on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” “When you ask them about President Obama, not just a handful, not just a few, many of them say that they believe he was born in Kenya.”
Jack Kingston, a former Georgia representative and Trump surrogate, tried to cut Tur off by saying, “it doesn’t show up in any polling. You probably have push questions that say that to people. I mean you can find a fringe element in any crowd.”
“Please don’t interrupt me, sir. Please don’t interrupt me … Let me tell you what Donald Trump supporters tell me on the campaign trail often,” Tur continued. “They often say they believe he was born in Kenya. They often say they believe he’s a Muslim.” Tur noted Trump has not backed away from these claims.
Leading up to the discussion, Matthews asked Kingston whether it was right for Trump to “accuse this president of being illegitimate.”
Kingston said Trump wasn’t doing that and the discussion had moved on.
In 2011, Trump launched a campaign insisting Obama release his birth certificate, promoting a conspiracy theory that Obama was not born in the United States but instead was born in Kenya.
Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said this week that he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, said also this past week that Trump believes the president was born in Hawaii. Rudy Giuliani, a Trump surrogate and former New York City mayor also came to Trump’s defense, saying they have both confirmed Obama was born in the U.S.