WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - During a campaign event at the brand new Trump International Hotel in Washington on Friday, Republican candidate Donald Trump looked to clear the air on the birther controversy, while attempting to shift some of the blame on Hillary Clinton.
"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy," he said. "I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again."
The claims have been vehemently denied by the Clinton campaign.
"Trump has spent years peddling a racist conspiracy aimed at undermining the first African American president," she wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon. "He can't just take it back."
Trump has spent years peddling a racist conspiracy aimed at undermining the first African American president. He can't just take it back.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 16, 2016
The controversy was reignited when Trump made ambiguous comments in an interview with the Washington Post, in which he was unwilling to declare Obama as an American citizen. Speaking with reporters on Friday, President Obama shrugged off the issue.
"I was fairly confident about where I was born," he said. "I think most people were as well."
Outside the hotel, dozens gathered to protest the GOP candidate, including Lori Watzman, who was handing out parody mints and playing cards, which poked fun at the candidate.
"He finally agreed that Obama was a citizen of the United States," she said. "I mean it's like 'hello. It's reality.'"
Others flocked to the hotel in order to show their support for Trump, including student Will Haislmaier.
"He's making a very bold statement," he said. "In coming and holding a media conference in a city that is majority liberal - does not like him. And we're here - at least I'm here - to show he's not alone in this city."