Let Donald be Donald!
I actually think this might have been the final straw for many in the media - they're tired of being played for fools by Trump.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) September 16, 2016
Scott Detrow for NPR puts it this way:
After years of peddling a false conspiracy theory that President Obama wasn't born in the United States, Donald Trump — just 53 days before Election Day — now says he believes the president was born in the U.S.Emphasis mine.
"President Obama was born in the United States. Period," Trump said at a campaign event in a ballroom in his new hotel in Washington. "Now, we want to get back to making America strong and great again."
But Trump did not apologize to President Obama.
Trump also claimed, falsely, that Hillary Clinton — "her campaign in 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. You know what I mean." That false equivalence is not true. See here and here and here. There's a big difference between what fringe supporters of Clinton said at the time, who were disavowed by the candidate, and the campaign Trump himself undertook in the subsequent years.
CNN was all over this for an hour this afternoon. John King preferred the term "fraud" to describe Trump:
"There you got after, what, four or five years of leading a fraudulent, reckless campaign against the legitimacy of the United States President, you got about, what, six or seven words from Donald Trump saying he's decided it's over. I guess he gets to decide that," he added.Slate lined up all of Trump's birther tweets since 2011; it's an ugly archive, and it proves he's a liar, but it's Slate, not a mainstream new source. Salon lined up all the angry responses of journalists and pundits, proving this time, it's personal.
And maybe it is; but I have never heard so many reporters call a public figure a liar so consistently and suddenly; it's like the restraints are off and now they feel free to tell us all the emperor is naked.
Then he went to a rally and said this, and even "Washington Week" had to pay attention and fact-check him:
“She’s very much against the Second Amendment,” Trump said in Miami. “She wants to destroy your Second Amendment. Guns, guns, guns, right? I think what we should do is, she goes around with armed bodyguards like you have never seen before. I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons, they should disarm. I think they should disarm immediately.”As Gwen Ifill pointed out, Hillary does not want to take everyone's guns away; and then she asked her panel if this didn't sound like an assassination threat. They all agreed that it did. They didn't say "Well, it could be interpreted that way, but there's no reason to say that's what he really meant." They didn't wait for a response from the Clinton campaign. They just nodded and said yes, that sounds like a threat.
“Take their guns away,” he continued. “She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, OK, it would be very dangerous.”
This might just start getting interesting.
Update: Josh Marshall has noticed it, too, this time in an AP story. Maybe the line finally has been crossed. I think JMM is right about what's going on, too; and this is what will sink Trump, in the end.