Above, Marc Lamont Hill comments on Donald Trump's political Rickroll Friday afternoon in the 'Presidential Ballroom' of his new Washington D.C. hotel. Promising a statement about the "birther" issue, Trump instead delivered a lengthy endorsement by several military flag officers and 14 Medal of Honor recipients.
All three major news networks (CNN, MSNBC and Fox News) showed the veterans speaking positively about Trump for more than 20 minutes, before cutting off to commentary one by one. CNN cut away first, MSNBC and Fox joined them moments later. After five minutes of confusion, Trump returned to the stage and made his statement.
MARC LAMONT HILL: It should not be a game. This is one of the most disgusting and pejorative moments of the entire Trump campaign for me. And that's saying something.
First of all, eight years later, to still be debating whether or not the president was born in America is absurd to me. To then present it as if he has some big announcement and he's going to confirm the president's birthplace, which is essentially confirming the president of America is American, eight years later to me, positions him as some sort of arbiter of citizenship...
At this point, Trump returns to the stage.
Related Video: Trump: "Barack Obama Was Born In The United States. Period."
Below, Marc Lamont Hill comments on Trump's actual birther statement:
MARC LAMONT HILL: This was absolutely repugnant. First of all, Donald Trump has never given a speech this short before. On any issue. He talks for hours sometimes when it's supposed to be five minutes. He gave essentially a 30 second, perhaps, message that President Obama was born in America, period.
Even then he didn't take full responsibility for his contribution to the dialogue.
I don't disagree with him that Hillary Clinton had some soft moments of birtherism, sending out the Kenya picture, doing other things in 2008. But Hillary Clinton has unequivocally said Barack Obama was born here.
Donald Trump pushed an agenda for years...