Report claims Trump believes he would have won popular vote had he not agreed Obama was US born
6:46 PM, Nov 29, 2017
President Donald Trump questioned the politics of his decision to finally acknowledge former President Barack Obama was born in the US, which he did late during the campaign in 2016, according to a source close to the White House.
The source said that shortly after he made the statement, Trump told aides that he would have done better in the polls had he continued to stand his ground on the birth certificate issue.
One sitting US senator quoted by the Times, "who listened as the President revived his doubts" about the issue, "chuckled" when speaking about what was said. Trump "has had a hard time letting go of his claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States," the senator, who "asked not to be named to discuss private conversations," told The New York Times.
CNN has not independently confirmed the reporting. The White House did not immediately return CNN's request for comment.
Although Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, Trump publicly questioned Obama's citizenship for several years before saying in a news conference during the 2016 election that he believed the nation's first African-American president was born in the US.
Tuesday's report came days after The Times reported that Trump also was questioning the authenticity of the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape.
The tape was a recording from several years ago in which Trump could be heard bragging about groping women, and Trump apologized soon after the tape surfaced last fall.
Two White House officials said there have been discussions about the story behind-the-scenes.
One aide described "whispers" among officials who apparently heard Trump questioning the authenticity of the tape, while another staffer said a senior official has been assuring colleagues that the reports are not true.