When I spoke with Trent Franks (R-AZ2) last month (at about the 3:30 mark in the video at right), his words were as clear as a bell: he had looked into the birther issue and found nothing there.

I guess going home changes a person.

According to the Politico, citing the Mohave Daily News, Trent Franks now believes there isn’t enough evidence in the public domain to prove Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Congressman Franks’ press secretary, Bethany Haley, got in touch with Glenn Thrush of the Politico and released a statement. Franks still believes Obama was born in the United States; he just cannot figure out why the President won’t put all the speculation to rest by releasing his long-form birth certificate. (You know, the one verified by Fact-Check.org, verified and then reverified by Hawaiin officials, and backed up by contemporaneous newspaper reports.)

Says Bethany:

To clarify — the Congressman’s comments at Saturday’s Mohave County town hall were misrepresented in the original report that you quoted. . . .

[I]t’s ridiculous for the President of the United States, who ran on a platform of transparency and accountability, to dismiss so glibly the concerns of literally millions of Americans, and allow such a ridiculous debate to continue when it could so easily be settled once and for all. It should not be too much to ask for the leader of the free world to allay the concerns of a large number of the people he represents by producing his long-form birth certificate, which is the definitive, inarguable way that he can put people’s concerns about his national identity to rest for good.

[emphasis added]

Look, I’ve come to like Trent Franks, he seemed honest and straightforward–and, dare I say, likable–when I first met him last month, but this backtrack puts all of that in doubt. By Rep. Franks’ new logic, I could raise all kinds of questions about him–all kinds. I’m sure people have had their concerns–and without definitive and inarguable proof to the contrary, why, it would be irresponsible not to speculate. . . .