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.
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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.
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.
In the Washington Post interview, published on the paper's website at 7:34 p.m., Trump refused to say whether he believed that Obama was born in the U.S.
"I'll answer that question at the right time," Trump said. "I just don't want to answer it yet."
Despite the Republican presidential candidate's reluctance to acknowledge that Obama was born in the U.S., Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has said in recent interviews that Trump does indeed believe the president is born in the U.S.
When asked if Conway's assertion was accurate, Trump told the newspaper, "It's okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs. I want to focus on other things."
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump surrogate, also recently said Trump believes Obama is born in the U.S.
"I don’t talk about it anymore," Trump told the Washington Post. "The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security."
Trump was asked if his courtship of African-Americans could be stymied by the birther issue and "hang over his candidacy." His response: "I think it hangs over the reporters."
The real estate developer-turned-presidential candidate was at the heart of the "birther" movement, casting doubt on whether Obama was born in the U.S. for years. He also claimed that he dispatched a team of investigators to get to the bottom of the issue.
The questions fueled conspiracy theories that the president was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii.
In an unusual move, the president held a press conference in April 2011 releasing his birth certificate.
But that still did not satisfy Trump and other doubters.
In August 2012, for example, Trump called Obama's birth certificate a "fraud."
An 'extremely credible source' has called my office and told me that @BarackObama's birth certificate is a fraud.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2012
The in December 2013, Trump was still tweeting about birtherism.
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2013
In August 2013, Trump told ABC News' Jonathan Karl that he has “ no idea” if Obama was born in the US.
Since then, he has largely dodged the question.
Earlier Thursday evening -- before the Trump campaign released its statement -- Hillary Clinton slammed Trump's refusal in the Washington Post to say Obama was born in the U.S.
"Every time we think he’s hit rock bottom, he sinks even lower," the Democratic presidential nominee said during remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus dinner in Washington, D.C., where Obama also spoke.
ABC News' Liz Kreutz contributed to this report.
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