McClatchy: Clinton Advisor Sid Blumenthal Shopped Around Birther Rumors in 2008

Donald Trump's claim that "Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy," has supposedly been debunked by fact-checkers because no one can tie the assertion directly to her campaign. "There is no evidence that Clinton or her 2008 campaign ever floated the theory," says Politifact. "While Clinton supporters circulated the allegations the last time she ran for president, they had no ties to either the candidate or her staff."

But wait...

A former McClatchy Washington Bureau chief said on Twitter earlier today that close Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal told him to his face in 2008 that then Senator Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and he should send a reporter there to check it out.

McClatchy DC further reports:

Phil Singer, Clinton’s 2008 campaign press secretary, said by email Friday: “The idea that the Hillary Clinton campaign had anything to do with spreading the birther issue has as much credibility as the birther issue itself: none. It didn’t happen.”

Meanwhile, former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher tweeted Friday that Blumenthal had “told me in person” that Obama was born in Kenya.

“During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

“During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

“At the time of Mr. Blumenthal’s conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama’s birthplace. While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not.”

Blumenthal, who worked in the White House with President Bill Clinton and later was employed by the Clinton Foundation, could not be reached Friday but said in an email to The Boston Globe, “This is false. Period.”

Sidney Blumenthal is a bit more than a mere "supporter" of the Clintons. He has been described as a "confidante," "henchman," "advisor," hatchet-man," former aide," "intel-provider," "prolific email correspondent," and, oh yeah -- "Clinton’s enabler: a rumor-mongering Wormtongue."

One more thing: Blumenthal joined the 2008 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign as a "senior advisor" in November 2007.

Ace of Spades has a question:

Do you really think McClatchy is the only media organization Sid the Shiv pushed this on? No, of course not -- he almost certainly pushed this chum to any fish in his Rolodex. And yet the entire media has suppressed that fact until ONE SINGLE REPORTER blew the whistle. How many other reporters and editors knew, and were eagerly prepared to keep lying to their readership about the authorship of the Birther Conspiracy?

Think about that. The media has suppressed this information all these years so they could use the toxic {{{birther}}} issue against Republicans.  But the the MSM knew all along that it came from the Clinton camp.