Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has refused to release his long-form birth certificate and passport records, despite demanding the same from Barack Obama during the 2012 election.
The Guardian contacted the Trump campaign to request the birth certificate and passport records of the Apprentice host, but a spokeswoman refused to share the documents.
In October 2012, Trump, a prominent figure in the “birther movement” – a loose affiliation of people who claimed Obama was born outside the US – accused Obama of being “the least transparent president in the history of this country” for refusing to release the very details Trump is now refusing to publish.
“We know very little about our president,” Trump said at the time. In a YouTube video the 69-year-old said he would donate $5m to a charity of Obama’s choosing if the president released his college records and applications and passport applications and records.
Yet when Trump’s representatives were contacted and asked to release the same documents the campaign refused to send them, despite the Guardian providing both a fax number and a full postal address. The campaign declined to comment further.
Now that Trump himself is running for president – in his campaign announcement he promised to crack down on Mexico, who he accused of sending “rapists” to the US – the refusal to release these documents could be seen as hypocritical. If Trump were to win the presidency in November 2016, without publishing the documentation, then he would by his own definition join Obama as being “the least transparent president in the history of this country”.
Trump’s decision not to publish the records is also confusing given a previous statement from his office. Following Trump’s $5m offer to Obama, the Guardian contacted Trump headquarters in October 2012 to request that the businessman release his own records, given his demands that Obama release the same.
In a heated exchange Michael Cohen, executive vice-president at the Trump Organization and special counsel to Trump, accused the Guardian of “trying to be funny” and said the request for documentation was “stupid” given Trump’s then lack of political aspirations.
“What’s your point?” Cohen said. “Mr Trump’s not the president of the United States and he’s not running for the presidency.”