After playing a clip of Republican candidate John Kasich denouncing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump for violence at his rallies and creating a “toxic environment,” CNN anchor Poppy Harlow tried to corner her interview subject, Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges.
“But what about those who argue, ‘Where was Kasich? Where were the other members of the GOP establishment during the past few years as some in the party attacked the president, President Obama, with false claims, talking about where he was born, his citizenship, and many of them just stood by? Where was he then?'” Harlow asked.
But Borges took the conversation in a direction Harlow apparently wasn’t expecting.
“All those things that you brought up were actually created by the Democrats, were created by Hillary Clinton in 2008,” Borges replied, “and some of the wild things that Donald Trump says, we just don’t think are representative of our party, and —”
Harlow was taken aback: “What? What? Wait, wait. What do, wait, what do you mean? What do you, what do you mean? What do you mean when you say those were created by Hillary Clinton? What do you mean?”
Borges noted that the “birther movement … the notion that somehow Barack Obama was a secret Muslim … Those things came out of the 2008 very ugly Democratic primary that went on on their side that lasted until June, and then of course Barack Obama became their nominee and then ended up winning the presidency, so —”
Harlow wasn’t buying it: “Can you clarify for me how you’re pointing to Hillary Clinton for starting the birther movement against the current president?”
Borges amended his earlier assertion from Clinton herself to her campaign.
“I think it’s well documented that that was, in fact, where this all came from, the 2008 primary that the Clinton campaign started these rumors about Barack Obama,” he replied, “and they were still able to come together as a family for the Democratic party.”
Harlow brought the subject to a halt, noting that “we’re gonna move on, but Hillary Clinton never asked for the president’s, you know, then-Senator Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Donald Trump led a lot of it, and a lot of people, and Mitt Romney wanted Donald Trump’s endorsement and got it at the time, and he was the leading candidate on your side.”
According to FactCheck.org, Clinton supporters in 2008 circulated an email questioning Obama’s place of birth, but there was no evidence the email originated from Clinton or her campaign. And PolitiFact reported that low-level Clinton volunteers circulated emails in late 2007 claiming Obama is a Muslim, but the Clinton campaign distanced itself from those claims and the volunteers in question resigned.