During the eight years that Barack Obama was in office, one of the leading voices pushing the debunked conspiracy theory of "birtherism" was former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. After Arpaio was given a pardon last year by Donald Trump for being in criminal contempt of court, he announced his campaign for the United State Senate but was forced to acknowledge his controversial past during a recent interview.

Arpaio on CNN

Not long after Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American President of the United States back in 2008, the right-wing Tea Party grew around the country.

The movement consisted of mostly angry white conservatives who expressed frustration with the growing size of the government, with some not being shy about their racial prejudice against the newly elected president. During that time, the conspiracy that Obama had faked his birth certificate gained traction, with Donald Trump being the highest profile name to give it legs. Another name that jumped on board the conspiracy, which has since be proven false, was Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff in Arizona. While Arpaio's efforts to prove Obama wrong never came true, he was found guilty of racial profiling and lost his re-election bid to a Democrat. As seen during a January 10 interview on CNN, the former sheriff is still standing by his birtherism.

Joining Chris Cuomo on CNN, Joe Arpaio was asked why he decided to run for office after all the controversy that has following him, and eventually elaborated on his current stance about Barack Obama's origin of birth.

"Oh, you're bringing that up?" Arpaio asked.

"Why wouldn't I?" Chris Cuomo replied, accusing the sheriff of attempting to "delegitimize" Barack Obama. "Let me tell yous something. I started this because of a fake document," Arpaio said, adding, "I didn't care where the president came from. I didn't care at all." "We have the evidence.

Nobody will talk about it," he continued.

Doubling down

Chris Cuomo went on to push further, asking Joe Arpaio directly if he thinks Obama's birth certificate was a phony. "No doubt about it," Arpaio answered, accusing former Attorney General Eric Holder of taking part in a "fix" to fool the public. While it's unknown what alleged proof Arpaio has, he doesn't look to be backing off his claims.

Moving forward

The issue of Barack Obama's birth certificate quickly became a non-issue for the majority of credible mainstream news outlets, as it was relegated to fringe far-right conspiracy blogs, with the exception of Fox News. Donald Trump has stayed quiet on the topic since being elected, dismissing it as a non-issue that he no longer likes to speak out.