“Mr. Trump, for five years, you perpetuated a false claim that the nation’s first black president was not a natural-born citizen,” editorialized debate moderator Lester Holt in the form of a question.

Holt asked this question during a section on race, a question that according to Hillary Clinton, exposed “the whole racist birther lie.”

They were able to make these charges because no one in the media knows the first thing about Obama’s early years. Worse, Holt and his media colleagues have betrayed their profession by choosing not to know.

In October 2007, the New York Times set the standard for reporting on Obama. When asked to reconcile the account in his 1995 memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” with the facts on the ground, candidate Obama flat out refused.

Wrote the Times, Obama “declined repeated requests to talk about his New York years, release his Columbia transcript or identify even a single fellow student, co-worker, roommate or friend from those years.”

In a real newsroom that kind of blanket evasion would have set off alarms, but the Times was no longer interested in reporting real news, certainly about Obama.

In May 2012, Trump tweeted, “I want to see @BarackObama’s college records to see how he listed his place of birth in the application.”

When the Times editors had not just the opportunity but the responsibility to unearth those records, they chose to let them stay buried.

Also in May 2012, Trump tweeted, “In his own words, @BarackObama ‘was born in Kenya, and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.'”

Trump was quoting word for word an author bio put out by Obama’s literary agency in 1991 and reported by Breitbart in 2012. The Times chose not to dignify this intriguing bit of information about Obama as “birther” by even mentioning it.

As to the details of Obama’s birth, no one at the Times was in a better position to report on them than reporter Janny Scott. Yet in her 2012 biography of Ann Dunham, “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Obama’s Mother,” Scott made a botch out of Obama’s nativity story.

“My father left my family when I was 2 years old,” Obama told America’s schoolchildren in 2009, “and I was raised by a single mother.” He made this claim many a time.

The major media accepted the story as told. Even before the 2008 election, however, the alternative conservative media knew the story was a fraud.

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By 2009, WND had confirmed the specifics of Dunham’s departure for Seattle within weeks of her son’s birth in 1961. She lived and studied there for a year, the baby at her side, while Barack Sr. remained in Hawaii. This meant, of course, that the story Obama had been telling about his origins was profoundly false.

Although she spent more than two years researching Dunham’s life, the defining event of which was the birth of her son, Scott contributed nothing but misinformation to the public understanding of Obama’s early years.

Scott seemed almost reluctant to raise the subject of Obama’s charmed multicultural family. Although she spends 30 pages on Dunham’s high school years, she spends only three pages in total on Dunham’s courtship, her son’s birth and the presumed father’s departure.

About the wedding Scott can tell us no more than that the couple married “reportedly on the island of Maui.” As the authoritative source on Dunham’s life, she should be embarrassed to use the word “reportedly.”

Critically, too, Scott fails to comment on Ann Dunham’s whereabouts from the alleged wedding in February 1961 to Obama’s birth in August 1961. Not a word, not a photo.

As to the birth, Scott provides no details other than what was available on the short form certification of live birth and, again, no photos and no confirming witnesses.

“Eleven months [after the birth],” Scott writes, “the elder Obama was gone.” Here, she seems to be covering for what Obama wrote in “Dreams.”

Obama observed that a newspaper story announcing his father’s departure for Harvard in June 1962 failed to mention him or his mother, and he wonders if “the omission caused a fight between my parents.”

Scott comments, “Whatever fight there was may have happened earlier.” Of course, it happened earlier. The two had not seen each other for at least nine months.

Scott concedes Dunham did go to Seattle, but she plays games with the timeline. “In the spring quarter of 1962,” she writes, “Ann was enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle.” This is borderline fraud. Dunham enrolled in the fall 1961 semester as well.

After reading Scott, the public has absolutely no idea whether or not Dunham married Obama Sr., where Dunham spent the next seven months, or how and when she and the baby got to Seattle.

The story she tells us about the first year of Obama’s life is conspicuously and consciously false. She tells it to protect the lie that Obama first told at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, namely, “My parents shared not only an improbable love. They shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation.”

Both parents hated America. They were the only presidential parents to live the greater part of their adult years beyond the nation’s borders. This is why people have questioned Obama’s constitutional legitimacy and his loyalties.

No one questioned the legitimacy of previous black Democratic candidates like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Trump cannot wait for the media to make this point. He has got to make it himself.

Media wishing to interview Jack Cashill, please contact media@wnd.com.

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