Republican congressman questions Obama’s ‘validity’

Updated
This handout image provided by the White House shows a copy of the long form of President Barack Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii.
This handout image provided by the White House shows a copy of the long form of President Barack Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A Republican congressman is reviving the birther conspiracy and calling on Congress to revisit key issues that he says test “the president’s validity.”

When pressed by conservative radio host Rick Wiles last week, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan played along with a conspiracy dubbed by Wiles as “the original scandal”: President Obama’s “phony identification papers.”

Duncan, who chairs the House Homeland Security Oversight Subcommittee, went on to suggest that investigations into President Obama’s place of birth was an issue deserving of the Supreme Court’s attention.

Wiles, who anchors the radio program TruNews, took it a step further.

WILES: While you guys are rounding up and deporting the illegal immigrants, any chance the House may actually pursue Barack Obama’s phony identification papers? That’s the original scandal, congressman.

DUNCAN: People should have voted against him in November. I’m afraid that that wouldn’t get to the Supreme Court where it ought to get.

WILES: But if we know they’re lying about all these other things, why not go back and say, “well maybe the first scandal was a lie, too?”

DUNCAN: There you go. I’m all with you. Let’s go back and revisit some of these things because Americans have questions about not only the IRS scandal but also about the president’s validity.


As msnbc’s Steve Benen points out, this is not the first time Rep. Duncan has pushed far-right conspiracies.

“The right-wing South Carolinian is feeding conspiracy theories about the IRS and firearms; he believes conspiracy theories involving the Census Bureau; and he pushed Glenn Beck’s conspiracy theories surrounding the Boston Marathon Bombing in April,” Benen writes.

Having only served three years in Congress, Duncan has developed a reputation for building conspiracy theories based on websites like the Drudge Report, by denying he voted for big oil subsidies. He once even compared expanding background checks to the Rwandan genocide in a Facebook post.

This is certainly not the first time Republicans have questioned the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate. After a long list of Republican “birthers” including Gov. Rick Scott, Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Steve King, Rep. Richard Hudson, Rep. Mike Coffman and Rep. Cathy Rodgers raised their doubts about the president’s citizenship, the White House released Obama’s birth certificate.

In a surprising press conference, Obama admonished those lawmakers for standing in the way of solving larger issues and instead making ”stuff up and pretend[ing] that facts are not facts.”

“I know that there is going to be a segment of people for which no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest,” Obama said. “But I am speaking for the vast majority of the American people as well as for the press. We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We have better stuff to do. I have got better stuff to do. We have got big problems to solve.”

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Republican congressman questions Obama's 'validity'

Updated