Secretary of State John Kerry, in Nairobi, Kenya for discussions on regional security and counterterrorism issues, made a "birther" joke about President Obama during a joint appearance with the Kenyan foreign minister Monday.
Kerry related a conversation he had with Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta in regard to results from the Olympics in Rio. The secretary of state told the Kenyan leader, "You gave us a president of the United States."
Here's a transcript:
But I had the pleasure of beginning that meeting, as I want to begin this press conference this afternoon, by congratulating Kenya on something no nation's athletes have ever before accomplished, and that is to win both the men's and the women's marathon races at the Olympic Games. (Applause.) Absolutely extraordinary. When I mentioned that to President Kenyatta, he promptly said to me, "Well, we also had a hand in helping you win a silver because the person who won came from Kenya." (Laughter.) And I said, "Actually, Mr. President, you did better than a silver and a gold. You gave us a president of the United States." (Laughter.) So you can see we had a very friendly and positive beginning to the conversation.
Ever since President Obama began his initial campaign for president in 2007, he's been dogged by conspiracy theories and rumors about his birthplace. His campaign often pointed to these theories as evidence of racism by Obama's opponents. President Obama's father, Barack Obama, Sr., was Kenyan.