When you point a finger at someone, three are pointing back at you.
Donald Trump was reminded of that admonishment from childhood after finding out the birth certificate he released Monday is not good enough to prove he was born in the United States. He's been accusing President Obama of the same thing.
"I had it in my hands in less than an hour," Trump told Fox's Greta Van Susteren.
He provided this document. It is from the Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York and signed by the attending physician and the hospital administrator. However, the document is not enough to prove citizenship or get a passport.
So Tuesday, Trump released some new documents.
The first is baby Donald's Certificate of Birth Registration for New York City and it bears a wealth of information. It shows he was born to Fred C. Trump and Mary McLeod on June 14, 1946. It is signed by the same doctor from Jamaica Hospital.
It lists Fred as a builder and Mary as a housewife who was born in Scotland. It shows Fred was seven years older than Mary when young Donald was born. It shows that Donald had 3 siblings waiting at home for him at the house Fred and Mary owned on Wareham Road in Queens.
The second document appears to be Trump's official "Certification of Birth" from The City of New York's Vital Records department. It bears his date of birth, his place of birth (Queens), his parents' full names, the registrar's signature and the official seal for The New York City Department of Health.
According to the passport requirements page on the State Department website, Trump's "Certification of Birth" appears to fulfill all of the requirements needed to obtain a passport from the United States. Because Fox is unable to view and touch the original in person, one can not tell if the official seal is raised.
The State Department website states:
"Primary evidence of birth in the United States. A person born in the United States generally must submit a birth certificate. The birth certificate must show the full name of the applicant, the applicant's place and date of birth, the full name of the parent(s), and must be signed by the official custodian of birth records, bear the seal of the issuing office, and show a filing date within one year of the date of birth."
A credit card receipt (at the bottom of this link) included in the paperwork provided by Trump shows he ordered the copy of the birth certificate on April 27th, 1999. The birth certificate shows it was issued the next day on 4-28-99. If Trump had already obtained this official document, then why did he offer up his Hospital Birth Certificate first? According to the State Department website, it is not enough to prove citizenship on its own:
"Secondary evidence of birth in the United States. If the applicant cannot submit a birth certificate that meets the requirement of paragraph (a) of this section, he or she must submit secondary evidence sufficient to establish to the satisfaction of the Department that he or she was born in the United States. Secondary evidence includes but is not limited to hospital birth certificates, baptismal certificates, medical and school records, certificates of circumcision, other documentary evidence created shortly after birth but generally not more than 5 years after birth, and/or affidavits of persons having personal knowledge of the facts of the birth."
According to the State Department, city, county and state-issued birth certificates all qualify as primary evidence in the pursuit of a passport.
Trump continues to insist the "Certificate of Live Birth" President Obama released in 2008 is not the same thing as his own "birth certificate".
In a statement released, Trump says:
"A ‘birth certificate' and a ‘certificate of live birth' are in no way the same thing, even though in some cases they use some of the same words.
One officially confirms and records a newborn child's identity and details of his or her birth, while the other only confirms that someone reported the birth of a child. Also, a ‘certificate of live birth' is very easy to get because the standards are much lower, while a ‘birth certificate' is only gotten through a long and detailed process wherein identity must be proved beyond any doubt.
If you had only a certificate of live birth, you would not be able to get a proper passport from the Post Office or a driver's license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Therefore, there is very significant difference between a ‘certificate of live birth' and a 'birth certificate' and one should never be confused with the other."
Hawaii's Department of Health has said the certificate of live birth is the standard form it issues to obtain a driver's license and passport, and that President Obama's is valid. When Fox asked the State Department if a "Certificate of Live Birth" from Hawaii, like President Obama's, is enough to qualify for a passport, a State Department official offered only this statement:
"A certified birth certificate is generally considered primary evidence of U.S. citizenship. Additional guidance on submitting evidence of U.S. citizenship is available on travel.state.gov/passport. We cannot comment on President Obama's birth certificate or passport records."
So-called "birthers" question President Obama's certificate of live birth because it appears to be missing a registrar's signature and an embossed seal. Those who have seen it say both are on the back side. However, like the official seal on Trump's certificate, those not privy to the original can't see the signature or feel the stamp on Obama's either.
If one thing is clear, proving you are a natural-born citizen of the United States isn't so easy.