Donald Trump is refusing to back away from his demand that Barack Obama release some of his life's records, specifically his documentation from his college years, to document whether he is, in fact, eligible to be president.
On the John Gambling Radio Show on WOR NewsTalk Radio 710 in New York this week, Trump said should the Obama documentation prove him ineligible for the office of president, it "could be one of the great cons of all times."
Trump many times has stated that he believes Obama is hiding information about his past, and has challenged his eligibility under the Constitution's requirement that a president be a "natural born citizen."
Then just days ago, Wayne Allyn Root, a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee, wrote in a commentary at The Blaze that he was in the Columbia University class that Obama claims to have been in.
"Obama has a big skeleton in his closet. It's his college records. Call it 'gut instinct' but my gut is almost always right. Obama has a secret hidden at Columbia – and it's a bad one that threatens to bring down his presidency," he wrote.
"Here's my … belief. Obama got a leg up by being admitted to both Occidental and Columbia as a foreign exchange student. He was raised as a young boy in Indonesia. But did his mother ever change him back to a U.S. citizen? When he returned to live with his grandparents in Hawaii or as he neared college-age preparing to apply to schools, did he ever change his citizenship back? I'm betting not.
"If you could unseal Obama's Columbia University records I believe you'd find that."
Root also noted that while the Obama campaign is demanding that likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney release years of tax records, Obama isn't forthcoming about his college records.
Trump said the college records are far bigger than tax filings.
"I'll tell you what. Everyone wants to talk about tax returns. This is bigger than tax returns.
"I think it's damning. I've been saying it for a long time. I mean, he hasn't proven a thing. This could be one of the great cons of all time so let's see what happens, but a lot of people want to see those records, and the college records, and in particular the college applications," he said.
See the exchange:
Questioned by Gambling about what would happen should the records prove Obama as a foreign exchange student.
"Then he's not president," Trump said.
And all the legislation he's signed.
"You have to figure that out," he said.
"The fact is that he wouldn't be president for very long. That would be, like I said, one of the great cons ever perpetrated on this country, or anywhere else," Trump said.
Earlier on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program, he said it would be a "great trade" for Obama to open his records and Romney to provide his tax returns.
"I guarantee it would be a really wonderful trade."
He said, "You know, Obama spent over $4 million in legal fees to keep these things quiet, and then he stands up and says 'I want to see his tax returns.' He's given tax returns. And if they give more – and I understand what Mitt's saying, they're very, very complex and 100 percent straight, 100 percent legal – but they look at little nitpicking things, and then you have another month of debate. Now if Obama gives some of his sealed records where all of this money has been spent to keep them sealed, I would certainly make that trade. I think that's a great trade. … I think you would find some things that are very, very interesting and very shocking."
It is unclear where Trump learned of the $4 million figure he cites.
However, as WND reported, Robert Bauer is a former partner at Perkins Coie and former top lawyer for Obama, Obama's presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Obama's Organizing for America. He is the same lawyer who defended President Obama in lawsuits challenging his eligibility to be president.
In 2009, WND reported Obama had paid Perkins Coie, a single law firm, $2.6 million between the time he announced his campaign for presidency and November 2009, the month Bauer left his position at Perkins Coie to become White House counsel. (By contrast, a cumulative total of all of Sen. John McCain’s legal consulting fees, from Jan. 1, 2007, to October 2009, amounted to only $1.6 million.)
WND also reported that Bauer sent a letter to plaintiff Gregory Hollister, a retired Air Force colonel, of Hollister v. Soetoro, threatening sanctions if he didn't withdraw his appeal of the eligibility case that earlier was tossed by a district judge because the issue already had been "twittered."
"For the reasons stated in Judge Robertson's ruling, the suit is frivolous and should not be pursued," Bauer's letter warned. “Should you decline to withdraw this frivolous appeal, please be informed that we intend to pursue sanctions, including costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees, pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 38 and D.C. Circuit Rule 38."
Bauer had also represented Obama and the DNC in Philip Berg's eligibility lawsuit and various other legal challenges.
Obama's payments to Perkins Coie covered a variety of legal expenses – not just expenses related to eligibility lawsuits. (Since the FEC isn't legally required to provide specific details on its forms, Obama's payment records do not spell out the exact amount he spent on representation in eligibility lawsuits.)
According to a 2011 Roll Call report, DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan claimed Obama "incurred ordinary legal expenses … which are proportional to the unprecedented size of this campaign."
However, the report noted, "Sevugan said some legal fees were needed to defend the campaign against 'unmeritorious' suits, including one challenging Obama's citizenship."
Trump told "Fox & Friends," "He's spending millions of dollars in legal fees to hide it, and most of the presidents, by the way, have released their college applications and their college records. And a lot of questions are being raised by a lot of different people."