Trump Now Taking Aim at Obama's Collegiate Background
CNBC.com Senior Writer
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should release more of his tax returns only after President Barack Obama makes public his college transcripts, real estate magnate Donald Trump said on CNBC.
A vocal Romneysupporter who once toyed with a run at the top office himself, Trump took up the latest controversy over the president's background — the circumstances under which Obama attended Columbia University.
"If I were Mitt Romney, and I'm not, I would say very simply, 'I will release my returns, which are 100 percent legit, everything's fine, if you release the information that we want,'" he said on"Squawk Box."Obama "spends $4 million trying to hide lots of different things that he's done, whether it's his passport records, his college applications and college record."
Trump has been at the forefront of the "birther" movement — those who question whether Obamawas born in the U.S.
Doubts over the president's collegiate background rose again this week in a column in The Blazewritten by Wayne Allyn Root, who said he was classmate of Obama's at Columbia. Root claims "Obama has a secret hidden at Columbia."
Among his allegations are that the president often missed class, had grades that were not befitting an entrant to Harvard Law School and went to the school as a foreign exchange student and thus was eligible for substantial financial aid.
"If I were Romney I would do this: 'I will release my returns if you release the records that you've been trying to shield for the last four years,'" Trump said.
Romney critics have challenged his decision to release only the two most recent years of tax returns.
The Obama campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump's allegations, meanwhile, could get an even bigger sounding board. He said he has been asked to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa from Aug. 27-30.
"I run a very big business, a great business. Going to the convention and speaking is not my thing," he said. "I enjoy doing it. I've been in politics all my life. I think I've been of great help to Mitt Romney and to the Republican Party. But they do want me there and I will probably be there."
A convention spokesman said Trump is not on the list of speakers scheduled so far but that more names will be added in the future.
(Correction: An earlier version included an incorrect title for the publication in which Root's article appeared.)