“[Barack Obama has] spent millions of dollars trying to get away from this issue. Millions of dollars in legal fees trying to get away from this issue,” Trump claimed during a March 2011 appearance on Fox News. “And I’ll tell you what, I brought it up, just routinely, and all of a sudden a lot facts are emerging and I’m starting to wonder myself whether or not he was born in this country.”
On April 27, 2011, President Obama took the unusual step of releasing original copies of his long-form birth certificate with the hope of putting an end to the false rumours.
“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” he said at the time, according to CNN.com. “I’ve been puzzled at the degree to which this [story] just kept on going.”
“We’re not going to be able to [meet challenges] if we spend time vilifying each other,” the then-president continued. “We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”
In Becoming, his wife reveals she was disgusted by Trump’s actions and the fact that they put her family at risk.
“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls?” she wrote, according to ABC News. “Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this, I’d never forgive him.”
This story originally appeared on PEOPLE.com.