Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager dismissed as “absurd” Donald Trump’s Monday night debate claim that she admitted a campaign ally pushed “birther” conspiracy rumors.
“It is absurd what Donald Trump just said,” Patti Solis Doyle said minutes after the debate’s end. “I never sent anyone to Kenya to look for his birth certificate.”
Asked about his role in boosting and perpetuating birtherism earlier in the evening, Trump pointed to a CNN appearance from last week, when – as he put it – Solis Doyle “was on Wolf Blitzer saying that this happened. (Clinton confidant Sidney) Blumenthal sent McClatchy, highly respected reporter at McClatchy, to Kenya to find out about it. They were pressing it very hard.”
But as Solis Doyle said during the post-debate panel – and a transcript from September 16 confirms – she made no such claim.
During her interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Solis Doyle flatly denied the campaign had any role in creating the conspiracy theory, instead recalling the firing of a volunteer for forwarding a chain email suggesting Obama was Muslim.
“There was a volunteer coordinator, I believe in late 2007, I think in December, one of our volunteer coordinators in one of the counties in Iowa (who sent the email),” she said during the initial interview. “Hillary made the decision immediately to let that person go. We let that person go.
Both then and on Monday night, Solis Doyle said the Clinton campaign apologized to the Obama campaign, which accepted the explanation according to former Obama political strategist David Axelrod.
“Our campaign does not tolerate this kind of activity or campaigning,” spokesman Mo Elleithee said at the time, after the email story initially went public in 2007. “As soon as it came to our attention, we asked (the second emailer) to step down.”