So if Barack Obama has never released his original birth certificate and, as Donald Trump has recently proved, this fact bothers many voters, why doesn’t the White House press corps just ask to see it?

As it turns out, a few reporters have asked to see the document over the years. None has gotten very far.

“In consideration of this very good promise of transparency,” began World Net Daily’s Lester Kinsolving during a May 2009 White House briefing, “why can’t the president respond to the petition to requests of 400,000 American citizens by releasing a certified copy of his long-form birth certificate, listing hospital?”

Robert Gibbs, then Obama’s press secretary, cut him off. “Are you looking for the President’s birth certificate?” he replied acidly. “It’s on the Internet, Lester.”

Laughter erupted in the briefing room, but Kinsolving pushed on: “No, no, no. The long form listing his hospital and physician.”

The next month, liberal radio host Bill Press asked Gibbs a different version of the same question: “Is there anything you can say that will make the birthers go away?” Gibbs responded that there wasn’t. “I almost hate to indulge in such an august setting as the White House – and I mean this in seriousness – the White House briefing room discussing the made-up, fictional nonsense of whether or not the President was born in this country,” Gibbs said.

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