Donald Trump earned national political prominence by promoting the ‘birther’ lie that Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was not born in the United States
US President Donald Trump said Thursday he had heard Democratic vice-presidential running mate Kamala Harris was not eligible to serve, stoking a false claim echoing the baseless “birther” theory he promoted about Barack Obama.
At a White House news conference, Trump was asked about “claims circulating on social media” that Harris was not eligible and whether he could say she met the legal requirements for vice president.
“I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements. And, by the way, the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer. I have no idea if that’s right,” Trump said.
“I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president,” he said.
“But that’s a very serious — you’re saying that — they’re saying that she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country.”
The reporter replied that Harris was born in the United States but her parents might not have been permanent residents at the time.
Trump appeared to be referring to a Newsweek op-ed by a conservative law professor wrongly claiming the California senator was not eligible to serve as vice president or president because of the immigration status of her parents when she was born.
Harris was born in Oakland, California in 1964 to a father from Jamaica and a mother from India.
Trump earned national political prominence by promoting the “birther” lie that Obama, America’s first black president, was not born in the United States.
He grudgingly acknowledged late in his 2016 presidential campaign that Obama was born in the United States.