Reporting from Washington — The White House released President Obama's long-form birth certificate to reporters on Wednesday, an extraordinary step in reaction to renewed questions from critics about whether he was born in Hawaii.
The document also was posted on the White House website. President Obama is expected to speak on the subject from the White House briefing room later Wednesday morning.
Amid questions during Obama’s 2008 run for the White House, his campaign released a certificate of live birth to verify he was a native-born citizen, a constitutional requirement of the office. So-called “birther” critics called the document insufficient, however, and conspiracy theories about the president’s birth have continued.
Administration officials said they felt compelled to release additional documentation because the continued “distraction” was harmful for the country.
“It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country,” Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director, wrote on the White House’s blog.