Trump Praises Columnist Pushing Birther Lie About Kamala Harris, Professes Ignorance About ‘Very Serious’ Claim
President Donald Trump praised a Newsweek columnist who pushed a birther lie about Kamala Harris, claiming she was was somehow ineligible under Joe Biden based on a spurious reading of the 14th Amendment. Trump called it a “very serious claim,” but said he has “no idea if that’s right.”
An op-ed by Claremont Institute’s John Eastman offered up a highly tortured interpretation of “natural-born citizen” from the U.S. Constitution that implied because Harris’ parents were not born in the country, she might not qualify to be president. The column sparked immediate backlash. Newsweek ultimately added an editor’s note was added claiming the op-ed has “nothing to do with racist birtherism,” Harris was born in Oakland, California, and is eligible to be president as a natural-born United States citizen.
In 2010, Eastman ran in the 2010 Republican primary for California’s attorney general. He lost and the eventual winner of that primary was defeated by Harris in the general election.
On Thursday during a White House news conference, Trump was asked: “There are claims circulating around social media that Kamala Harris is not eligible to run for vice president,” a reporter asked. “Can you definitely say if Kamala Harris makes the legal requirements to run as Vice President?”
“So I just heard that,” Trump said. “I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements. By the way, the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, highly talented lawyer. I have no idea if that’s right, I would’ve assumed the Democrats would’ve checked that out before she gets chosen to run for Vice President. That’s very serious, they’re saying she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country?”
When the reporter clarified that she was born in this country, but her parents weren’t, Trump said, “I don’t know about it, I just heard about it. I will take a look.”
Trump infamously pushed the racist Birther conspiracy theory about President Barack Obama for years before finally bowing to reality just two months before the 2016 election.
Watch above, via Fox News.
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