In October of 2012, real estate developer, television personality, and Trump University chairman and founder Donald Trump promised a “bordering on gigantic” announcement which might derail Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Two days later, he issued a challenge on YouTube. At some points he addressed the president directly, like a villain in a James Bond film who’d commandeered the airwaves.
“President Obama is the least transparent president in the history of this country. There’s never been anything like it. We know very little about our president. I’m very honoured to have gotten him to release his long-form birth certificate–or whatever it may be. Now, many, many people have questions, and very serious questions. I have a deal for the president. A deal that I don’t believe he can refuse, and I hope he doesn’t.
If Barack Obama opens up and gives, his college records and applications and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give, to a charity of his choice; inner city children in Chicago, American cancer society, AIDS research– anything he wants–a cheque, immediately, for five million dollars. The cheque will be given, within one hour, after he releases all of the records, so stated. He’ll be doing a great service for the country if he does this. If he releases these records, it will end the question, and indeed the anger, of many Americans. They’ll know something about their president. Their president will become transparent. Like other presidents.
So, all he has to do to get five million dollars, for a charity or charities of his choice, is get his colleges’ to immediately give his applications and records. And also: to release his passport records. When he does that to my satisfaction, if it’s complete, this cheque is delivered immediately. A lot of people will be very, very happy to see this happen. Frankly, it’s a cheque that I very much want to write. I absolutely would be the most happy of all if I did in fact make this contribution through the president to these charities. One caveat: the records must be given by October 31st, at five o’clock in the afternoon.
Mr. President, not only will I be happy and, by the way, totally satisfied, but the American people will be happy. And you know what? Those charities will be really, really happy. Thank you Mr. President.”
Donald Trump, YouTube address, October 24, 2012