Donald Trump's 'birth certificate' stirs controversy
Donald Trump is continuing to test the waters ahead of a possible announcement of a 2012 bid for the U.S. presidency and recently made headlines over an issue President Barack Obama has often dealt with - his birthplace.
Trump, a 64-year-old real estate mogul and host of the hit NBC reality shows "The Apprentice" and "The Celebrity Apprentice," recently released what he said was his birth certificate to the right-leaning website Newsmax.com.
"It took me one hour to get my birth certificate," he told the site. "It's inconceivable that, after four years of questioning, the president still hasn't produced his birth certificate."
The blog Politico then revealed that the document Trump provided was a birthing record released by a New York hospital, not an official birth certificate.
When asked about the issue, His aide and lawyer Michael Cohen told CNN: "In order to rectify the oversight, I am sure he will either find his original birth certificate or order another one and release it."
Many Obama opponents claim the U.S. leader is ineligible to be president, claiming there is insufficient proof he was born in the United States. Officials working on Obama's presidential campaign in 2008 had produced a certification of live birth that reports his birthplace as Honolulu, Hawaii. An original birth certificate has not been released due to state privacy laws.
"He is only asking for the president to do what the president said he would do - release his birth certificate," Cohen told CNN, when asked about Trump.
Trump had told news outlets, including OnTheRedCarpet.com, that he would announce before June, after the end of the current fourth season of "The Celebrity Apprentice," whether or not he will run for president. Meanwhile, Trump was named as the headline speaker for the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Day dinner on June 10.
Iowa is one of several swing states, whose majority of voters voted for Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates in the 2008 national election. An independent group is already pushing for Trump to submit his presidential bid and often features material on the website shouldtrumprun.com.
Trump appears in a video and details some of his political views, saying he supports taxing the outsourcing of jobs, namely those in call centers abroad, and slams Obama's response to the recent deadly tsunami and earthquake in Japan, which threatened its nuclear power plants.
Trump has said last year that he was thinking about running for president in 2012 and laughed off suggestions that he might run with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who lost a Republican vice presidential bid in the 2008 election.
Trump had suggested running as a Republican in 1988 and eyed a presidential bid with the Reform Party in 1999. In 2007, he floated the idea of making talk show host Oprah Winfrey, now the world's most powerful celebrity, his running mate.
Since 2008, Trump has contributed more than $25,000 to campaigns of Democratic politicians and more than $2,000 to former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, public records show. In 2004, he donated funds to campaigns of both Bush and Kerry.