NEW YORK, July 24 (UPI) -- CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein told staffers of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" the controversy over President Barack Obama's birth certificate is a "dead story."
Klein wrote in an e-mail to staffers Thursday that CNN researchers had determined Hawaiian officials discarded paper birth documents in 2001. Thus, he said, Obama's long-form birth certificate no longer exists, and a shorter certificate that is public is the official record.
"It seems to definitively answer the question," Klein wrote in the e-mail, first reported by the Web site TVNewser. "Since the show's mission is for Lou to be the explainer and enlightener, he should be sure to cite this during your segment tonite (sic). And then it seems this story is dead -- because anyone who still is not convinced doesn't really have a legitimate beef."
Klein said Friday he was not ordering CNN staffers to drop the story and that if developments merited more coverage, it would be pursued, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"When I use the word 'seems,' that's an open invitation to disagree," Klein told the Times.
On his show Thursday, Dobbs mentioned the explanation from Hawaiian officials but then questioned why Obama has not shown a long-form birth certificate, the newspaper said.