Friday, October 31st, 2014

PolitiFact's guide to Obama's birth certificate

Hawaii officials have verified the authenticity of this Certification of Live Birth.
Hawaii officials have verified the authenticity of this Certification of Live Birth.

Originally published April 8, 2011

Nothing we've published in the four-year history of PolitiFact has generated as much interest as our coverage of President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

New allegations from Donald Trump (new from Trump, at least; most of them have been explored by PolitiFact and other fact-checkers) have prompted fresh interest in the subject, so we thought we'd provide a handy guide to our coverage.

The main stories

Obama's birth certificate: the final chapter was our first major examination of the issue, focusing on how questions about Obama's birth were spreading. It was part of the entry that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2009.

Obama's birth certificate: the final chapter -- This time we mean it! explored additional angles of the story and included an explanation from Hawaiian officials and confirmation that the birth certificate posted by the Obama campaign was legitimate.

Truth-O-Meter items

We've published 18 Truth-O-Meter items on various claims about the birth certificate and collected them on this page. It's worth noting that we've found most of the claims to be False or Pants on Fire.

Some of the significant ones:

Donald Trump earned a False for his claim that Obama's grandmother said he was born in Kenya.

Donald Trump earned a Pants on Fire for his claim that classmates did not remember Obama.

A Texas state legislator earned a False for saying Hawaii's governor can't find anything that says Obama was born there.

A chain e-mail earned a Pants on Fire for a claim that Obama's college transcript indicates he was an Indonesian citizen.

A chain e-mail earned a Pants on Fire for saying that Obama's middle name is Muhammed.

A chain e-mail earned a Pants on Fire for saying that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had agreed to hear a case about whether Obama is eligible to be president.