CNN anchor Jake Tapper sparked an awkward exchange on Thursday when he pressed Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio on the “preposterous notion” that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.
“Why would you risk your credibility on issues you care about — like illegal immigration, like law enforcement — by getting involved in this nonsense?” Tapper asked bluntly on Thursday's edition of "The Lead."
“What do you mean ‘risk?’ I’m the chief law enforcement officer elected by the people. I have a right to investigate and speak out,” Arpaio responded. “I’m not talking about where he came from…We’re working on a fraudulent, forged government document.”
When asked to confirm he still believes Obama’s publicly released birth certificate is fraudulent, the sheriff replied, “That’s right.”
Arpaio later took a jab at Tapper, telling the anchor, “I’ve been around a long time. I’m not stupid enough to even talk to you about it, if I even think there was a lot of smoke and fire there.”
Watch the exchange via CNN below: