Trump Floats Birther Conspiracy On Harris Amid Campaign-Style Briefing

August 13, 2020

President Trump — whose rise in Republican politics began when he falsely suggested in 2011 that then-President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. — is now floating a birther conspiracy against Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as part of his efforts to discredit Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s VP pick.

During a press conference at the White House on Thursday evening, Trump piled onto his ongoing attacks against Harris by bolstering a conspiracy that she’s ineligible for the vice presidency, after being pressed on baseless allegations on social media that she is an “anchor baby.”

“I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” Trump said. “And, by the way, the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.”

The President appeared to take a cue from Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis, who reposted a tweet by Tom Fitton, the president of the conservative group Judicial Watch, asking whether Harris is “ineligible to be Vice President under the U.S. Constitution’s ‘Citizenship Clause'” earlier Thursday. Fitton’s tweet included a link to an op-ed by John Eastman, a law professor at Chapman University, published in Newsweek on Wednesday.

“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,” Trump said. “But that’s very serious, they are saying she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country.”

After a reporter pointed out that Harris — who will be the first Black and South Asian woman to appear on a major presidential ticket — was born in California, Trump simply replied that he’ll “take a look.”

“I don’t know about it, I just heard about it, I’ll take a look,” Trump said.

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