Words by Roman White
Former Arizona Sheriff, Joe Arpaio told CNN that he believes former President Obama’s birth certificate is “phony.” In his ten-minute long interview with Chris Cuomo, Arpaio says he has proof that Obama’s birth certificate was fake, but no one wants to talk to him about the evidence.
This is a popular claim amongst far-right conservatives and conspiracy theorists who attempt to delegitimize Obama’s presidency using the first Black president’s Kenyan heritage as an indicator that he was not born in America, but in Africa.
“We have the evidence,” said Arpaio. “Nobody will talk about it, nobody will look at it. Anytime you want to come down or anybody, we’ll be glad to show you the evidence. And by the way, you’re going to hear more about this fake, phony birth certificate.”
This conspiracy theory was debunked after President Obama publicly released his birth certificate in 2011 although some, including the current U.S. president believed the document was forged. Obama at the time was pressured by then businessman, Donald Trump to release the birth certificate.
Trump, as recently as 2015, still had questions about where his successor was born, but caved during the 2016 election and held a press conference to admit that Obama was in fact born in the United States.
The controversial former sheriff of Maricopa County recently announced his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate after current Arizona Senator, Jeff Flake, revealed that he will not seek reelection in the 2018 midterms.
In 2017, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was convicted of racial profiling Latino citizens and detaining them in an attempted hard line stance on immigration reform in the Grand Canyon State. The courts concluded that Arpaio, who was ordered by the courts to stop profiling Latinos, had refused the courts order leading to his conviction.
Before Arpaio received any sentencing, the recently inaugurated President Trump granted the 85-year-old Trump supporter a pardon in the case. When questioned about why he granted the pardon, Trump said that Arpaio was, “just doing his job.”