The Note: Is This Trump’s ‘Big’ Birther Backpedal?


--TRUMP TEASES A ‘BIG ANNOUNCEMENT’: Donald Trump said this morning that he will make an announcement today on the issue of whether he believes President Obama was born in the United States. The Republican presidential nominee told Fox News in a telephone interview that will "make a big announcement" on the matter today. The candidate's promise to address the issue directly comes after his campaign on Thursday night issued a statement asserting that Trump "believes" Obama was born in the U.S. As of Friday morning, though, Trump has yet to say himself that he believes the president is American-born. More from ABC’s DAVID CAPLAN, TOM LIDDY AND MAIA DAVIS:

--BACKSTORY: Trump has been a leading proponent of the "birther" notion that Obama isn't a native-born U.S. citizen. His campaign's statement Thursday night was issued hours after the Washington Post published an interview in which Trump again refused to acknowledge that the president was born in the U.S., a position he has maintained for years despite proof to the contrary. And in a bizarre twist, the statement said Trump took credit for "compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate" and putting an end to an "issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised." "Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States," the statement read.

--DONALD TRUMP JR.: 'DOESN'T KNOW' IF FATHER WILL EXPLICITLY SAY OBAMA BORN IN US: Donald Trump Jr. says he "doesn't know" if his father will explicitly say President Obama was born in the United States, but said that the statement released from the campaign last night is "coming from him." “I was involved in those conversations,” Trump Jr. told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.” The campaign's chief "spokesperson is putting it out from the campaign.” Although Trump Jr. said he was unsure if his father would come out and directly say Obama was born in the United States, he didn’t rule out a future tweet along those lines. But he told Stephanopoulos he thinks the statement from the campaign was enough and this should be the end of the conversation. More from ABC's ALANA ABRAMSON:

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: What matters in Donald Trump going birther again isn't his current stance - even if one could be established as consistent, final, and coming from the candidate himself. What matters isn't - or isn't only - his long history with the matter, from bringing President Obama's birth status to the public eye (that wasn't Hillary Clinton's doing) to his unsubstantiated claim to have sent private investigators to Hawaii. What matters is how he is still talking about it, and the obvious inferences as to why. It's a blunt appeal to Obama hatred, including those for whom race is part of the reason to hate. Perhaps just as critically, it's another Trump distraction - putting himself at the center of attention, and taking scrutiny away from other corners. Trump has used distraction and deflection as tools throughout the campaign. Again, he's where he wants to be - the focus of frenzy he will surely call a media obsession.

‘POWERHOUSE POLITICS’ PODCAST -- PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FORMER DOCTOR: INDEPENDENT PHYSICIANS SHOULD EXAMINE CANDIDATES. Now that both candidates’ personal doctors have released their reports, ABC’s JONATHAN KARL and RICK KLEIN talked to the guy who did the same for then-Senator Obama when he was the Democratic nominee in 2008. Dr. David Scheiner, President Obama’s personal doctor for more than 22 years, said the system is biased and objective doctors should examine the candidates. Scheiner told ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast that candidates should be examined by independent doctors, not their personal physicians.


CLINTON CALLS TIME OFF CAMPAIGN TRAIL FOR PNEUMONIA A 'GIFT.' Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said it's "great to be back on the campaign trail" after spending three days at home in Chappaqua, NY recovering from pneumonia. "I have to say, it's great to be back on the campaign trail," Clinton said during a rally at UNC Greensboro Wednesday. "Sitting at home was pretty much the last place I wanted to be," Clinton said. "But it turns out having a few days to myself was actually a gift." ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI have more:

TRUMP ATTACKS FORD FOR OUTSOURCING CAR PRODUCTION TO MEXICO. Donald Trump called Ford Motor's plan to relocate a small car assembly plant to Mexico "disgraceful" Thursday, returning to the topic of the loss of manufacturing jobs that the candidate emphasized yesterday in a visit to Flint, Michigan. "Ford has announced just yesterday that they're moving their small car production facilities to Mexico," said Trump at the Economic Club of New York, writes ABC’s ADAM KELSEY. "To think that Ford is moving its small car division is a disgrace. It's disgraceful. It's disgraceful that our politicians allow them get away with it. It really is."

SPEAKER RYAN SUPPORTS TRUMP RELEASING TAX RETURNS, DEFERS ON TIMING. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that Donald Trump should release his tax returns, noting that he did so as a vice presidential candidate in 2012. Asked if it would be a "good idea" for Trump to release his returns, Ryan said, "I released mine. I think we should release ours." "I’ll leave it to him when to do it," he added. ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL and JORDYN PHELPS have more:

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE TRUMP FOUNDATION UNDER INVESTIGATION. Donald Trump's charitable foundation has come under public and government scrutiny amid recent questions about the source of the nonprofit’s funding and the recipients of its donations. The Donald J. Trump Foundation was founded in 1988 and has been operating continuously since then. It is now under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who said he is interested in whether the organization is complying with state regulations regarding nonprofits, reports ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY.

TRUMP SAYS CAMPAIGNING IS 'FORM OF EXERCISE' ON DR. OZ. Donald Trump talked about his medical history and told Dr. Oz that campaigning "in its own way, it's a pretty healthy act." Trump said that gesticulating and speaking in front of large crowds turns very physical, and "a lot of times these rooms are very hot like saunas." "I think when you're running for president, I think you have an obligation to be healthy. I just don't think you can do the work if you're not healthy," he said. Trump talked about his medical history and noted his only trip to the hospital was when he had an appendectomy at age 11, ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY and GILLIAN MOHNEY note.

NOTED: INSIDE CLINTON AND TRUMP'S HEALTH HISTORY DISCLOSURES. Each candidate has released two letters from their respective doctors since the start of the campaign, notes ABC’s GILLIAN MOHNEY. Here's a look at the details that have provided.

CLINTON HAS 'A LOT OF SYMPATHY' FOR COLIN POWELL OVER EMAIL HACK. Hillary Clinton sidestepped a question about an email that former Secretary of State Colin Powell sent criticizing the Democratic presidential nominee Thursday, saying only that she has “a lot of sympathy for anyone whose emails become public.” “I have a great deal of respect for Colin Powell, and I have a lot of sympathy for anyone whose emails become public. I’m not going to start discussing someone else’s private emails,” said Clinton on the Tom Joyner radio show. ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ has more.

IVANKA TRUMP DEFENDS MATERNITY LEAVE PROPOSAL IN COMBATIVE INTERVIEW. In a surprisingly testy exchange with Cosmopolitan magazine, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, defended her father's recently announced maternity leave and child care proposals while seeking to redirect some questions about whether the plan would benefit same-sex couples, writes ABC’s ADAM KELSEY. Asked whether the benefits would be extended to same-sex couples and questioned how the nominee's prior statements about women reconcile with his current stance, Ivanka Trump accused the interviewer of editorializing.

EX-OBAMA SPEECHWRITER JON FAVREAU EXPLAINS ORIGINS OF THE STUMP SPEECH. One man who knows a thing or two about stump speeches is Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama. Favreau, 35, got his start working for John Kerry's failed presidential campaign in 2004 and met Obama during the Democratic National Convention that year. Favreau went on to work for Obama when he was a senator and played a pivotal role in his 2008 election and the first years of his administration. The stump speech is a campaign tool that Favreau — and every other presidential speechwriter — knows well. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has more:

BY THE NUMBERS -- CLINTON, TRUMP IN TIGHT RACE, NEW POLL SHOWS. A new poll shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump caught in a tight race for the White House as Election Day inches closer. Clinton has just a 2 point lead over Trump in a two-way race among likely voters, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, notes ABC’s MORGAN WINSOR. The Democratic nominee has the support of 46 percent of likely voters nationwide, and the Republican candidate 44 percent, with less than two weeks to go until the first presidential debate.


@daveweigel: Just think about this "Hillary invented birtherism" conspiracy theory. So... Obama made the conspiracy's founder his Secretary of State?

@BresPolitico: Trump is making a fortune off reporters filing "stories" from Trump's hotel in DC. Whose winning that one?

@amyewalter: Clinton has an enthusiasm problem: Trump has a structural problem 

@russellberman: Can Clinton win the kids back? Bleeding support among millennials, she's turning to Sanders and Warren for help

@ByronYork: Now, focus on issues appears to be paying off. Trump back ahead of Clinton on better-on-economy question.

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