He was initially shocked that it was still an issue
This story originally appeared on TIME.com.
Before Donald Trump finally affirmed his belief that President Obama was actually born in the U.S., President Obama responded to Donald Trump’s earlier refusal to weigh in at the top of a meeting in the Oval Office on Friday.
The president was meeting with business leaders and state and local officials at the White House to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership when he answered a shouted question about Trump’s birtherism from the press pool.
At first, the president said he was “shocked” that a question had come up when “we have so many other things to do.” Then, it seems, he thought about what year it was and responded accordingly.
“Well, I’m not that shocked actually. It’s fairly typical. We got other things to attend to,” Obama said. “I was pretty confident about where I was born. I think most people were as well. My hope would be the presidential elect, election reflects more serious issues than that.”
Trump has long been one of the most prominent members of the birther movement, calling into question President Obama’s country of origin and therefore the legitimacy of his presidency. Amid his campaign reboot, however, Trump campaign officials have been suggesting their candidate now accepts that the president was in fact born in the U.S. But Trump himself had yet to utter the words himself before putting the issue to rest during a press conference at the new Trump Hotel in Washington on Friday morning.
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It’s no secret that President Barack Obama is disappointed in the direction much of the campaign to succeed him has taken. During a rally for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia earlier this week he laid out a fierce rebuke of Donald Trump, a man he believes is neither qualified nor prepared to lead the U.S.