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Clinton Back on Trail, Trump Now Believes Obama was Born in U.S. | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 39th Annual Gala Dinner held at the Washington Convention Center, in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton returned to the White House campaign trail Thursday seeking to regain the momentum lost to Donald Trump during her battle with pneumonia, accusing the billionaire businessman of fostering ugliness and bigotry by refusing to acknowledge President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

The former secretary of state, 68, signaled she was raring to go, quickly going on the attack against her Republican rival at a rally in North Carolina and later in Washington at a celebration marking Hispanic Heritage Month.

But Trump didn’t skip a beat, pummeling her economic record and that of Obama — and releasing new medical records showing the 70-year-old billionaire real estate mogul to be in “excellent physical health.”

Clinton urged Hispanic leaders to stoke a large voter turnout in November’s election.

Taking the stage shortly after Obama, Clinton noted at a gala of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute that Trump had declined to acknowledge the outgoing president had been born in the United States.

Her comments prompted Trump’s campaign spokesman to say that the Republican presidential candidate now believes Obama was born in the U.S., despite the candidate’s repeated refusal to say so himself.

In a statement released late Thursday night, campaign spokesman Jason Miller claims Trump “did a great service to the country” by bringing closure to an “ugly incident” that Trump, in fact, fueled.

“In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate,” Miller said.

“Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure” to the issue, he added. “Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”

Trump was, for many years, the most prominent proponent of the “birther” movement, which claimed Obama was born outside the U.S. and thus ineligible to be president — despite the fact that he was born in Hawaii. Trump’s comments were seen by many as an attempt to delegitimize the nation’s first black president and have turned off many of the African American voters he is now courting in his bid for the White House.

Clinton fell ill Sunday during a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York, where she was seen stumbling limp-legged into her vehicle, an episode that raised tough questions about her overall health and her campaign’s transparency.

With the candidates’ wellbeing suddenly at the forefront of the campaign, Clinton looked to head off further scrutiny by releasing new medical records Wednesday indicating that she was “fit to serve” as president.

The disclosure came as the media-savvy Trump, teased new health data of his own during the taping of a nationally televised medical chat show, before publishing it Thursday in full.

The one-page letter from his longtime doctor lists various lab results, including for cholesterol, blood pressure and liver and thyroid function — all deemed to be within the normal range.

While Trump was shown to be slightly overweight, his doctor Harold Bornstein declared the Republican nominee to be “in excellent physical health.”