Remember Trump's ridiculous "birther" conspiracy surrounding Barack Obama?
You'd be forgiven if you don't, as it was about twelve or thirteen (hundred) conspiracy theories ago.
When Barack Obama was a candidate for President, Trump perpetuated a racist theory Obama could not be the POTUS [President Of The United States] because he was not born in the United States. Presidential candidates George Romney and Rafael "Ted" Cruz were born in Mexico and Canada, but the same questions of eligibility to be President were not raised about either Republican candidate, even when Trump campaigned against Cruz in 2016.
Both men were eligible to be President because at least one of their parents was a United States citizen. Where they were born was therefore a non-issue.
But the first Black President—whose mother was a United States citizen making his birthplace also immaterial—was hounded by White supremacists who claimed he was born in Kenya—Obama was born in Hawaii—and was a secret Muslim—Obama is a Christian.
One of the most vocal about the birther conspiracy on social media and in TV interviews was Donald Trump and his wife Melania.
Obama took the racist attacks in stride.
At the 2011 White House Correspondents' dinner, Obama roasted Trump for pursuance of this conspiracy theory.
Obama's proclivity for cleverly roasting people—rather than the childish name-calling employed by his successor—was noted by Trevor Noah. He asked Obama why the recipients of his roasts (Donald Trump, Kanye West, etc...) have a tendency to then run for President.
Should President Obama be more careful about who he roasts, considering Trump and Kanye both ended up running for p… https://t.co/flT052U3Mf— The Daily Show (@The Daily Show)1607984790.0
Noah said to Obama:
"You roasted Donald Trump, he ran for president, you roasted Kanye West, he ran for president."
"So, I don't know if you've noticed, but you have an ability to inspire people to run for the highest office in the land with some of the jokes you tell about them."
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama What a class act. Talk about being at different ends of the spectrum ,compared to the c… https://t.co/C6tO3UZfH8— PP (@PP)1607987733.0
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama I think his biggest legacy will be what he inspires out of office more so than in office… https://t.co/BHYvBQb97Y— Tanya Callender Moncur🇧🇸, 2nd to the Last Jedi (@Tanya Callender Moncur🇧🇸, 2nd to the Last Jedi)1607985521.0
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama Always respected Pres. Obama, but after reading his book that respect has increased expo… https://t.co/4wnfD0AD1H— Sheryl O'Connor (@Sheryl O'Connor)1607985467.0
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama My respect for Barack Obama grows as he continues to treat his time as President as a pa… https://t.co/eSzoedBlry— edgery #WearYourDamnMaskEvenIfVaccinated (@edgery #WearYourDamnMaskEvenIfVaccinated)1607985160.0
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama I Hope there will be 1,000-10,000 young leaders inspired by Obama’s example... but if th… https://t.co/VM1Lcpb8t4— Shawn Hiatt (@Shawn Hiatt)1608065810.0
With a chuckle, Obama replied:
"I should roast people I admire more. I'll start roasting you, man. Who knows?"
Referencing the birther conspiracy Trump eventually acknowledged was a lie but failed to apologize for, Obama said Noah wasn't born in the US so couldn't run for President, but:
"I was able to get away with it, so...."
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama I feel so privileged to have been alive to see @BarackObama as president.. even if that… https://t.co/Yk2CCeWrW2— Mom in a Box (@Mom in a Box)1608066376.0
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama President Trevor!— Chip Harbour (@Chip Harbour)1607985154.0
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama Love it when President @BarackObama laughs!! The impact that you and First Lady… https://t.co/ISWdpXMY4s— MeChelle (@MeChelle)1607991097.0
@TheDailyShow @BarackObama I miss him as a Leader Never had to worry about the US invading Greenland under his tenure— Murke N'you (@Murke N'you)1607985292.0
Trump's base and the President himself have since made similar false birther claims about Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
This new Trump lawyer’s theory that Harris’s birth in Oakland, CA, doesn’t suffice to make her a “natural born Citi… https://t.co/imRfxU4fhp— Laurence Tribe (@Laurence Tribe)1607611992.0
Trump's lone attorney on this brief is John Eastman, the Claremont Institute white supremacist who promoted the Kam… https://t.co/AXBGFRbCge— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern)1607549239.0
CNN's Abby Phillip referenced the theory when Trump was defeated by Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential election, saying:
"Donald Trump's political career began with the racist birther lie, it may very well end with a Black woman in the White House."
“Donald Trump’s political career began with the racist birther lie, it may very well end with a Black woman in the… https://t.co/wY0mDoL4pO— CNN (@CNN)1604771703.0
The full-cycle irony of this birther lie is not lost on the country.
Sometimes, people roast themselves.