Jacob Wohl, the right-wing troll and Trump acolyte, is apparently done licking his wounds after his embarrassing attempt to smear Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed spectacularly.
In a tactic echoing that of his role model Donald Trump, Wohl is floating a bogus birther theory about newly announced presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Kamala Harris is NOT eligible to be President. Her father arrived from Jamaica in 1961—mother from India arrived in 1960
Neither parent was a legal resident for 5 years prior to Harris’s birth, a requirement for naturalization
Kamala was raised in Canada
— Jacob Wohl (@JacobAWohl) January 22, 2019
Harris was born in Oakland, California and is thus granted American citizenship by the birthright clause in the 14th Amendment, no matter her parents’ status. This interpretation of the Constitution has been the law of the land since a Supreme Court decision in the 1890s.
Wohl seems to be suggesting, wrongly, that Harris is not a natural born citizen and thus not eligible to be President.
“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States,” Article II of the U.S. Constitution reads.
Wohl appears to be citing the 5-year waiting period required for permanent residents to apply for naturalization in the United States to become full-fledged citizens. Again, would not apply to Harris, since she was born on American soil.
Most mainstream reporters and political commentators have responded to Wohl’s conspiracy theory with derision and anger:
Let us please, PLEASE, preeeeettttyyyyy please not engage this ridiculous birther shit being thrown at Kamala Harris. Have we learned nothing from the past few years?????
— Sam Stein (@samstein) January 22, 2019
Here we go again with the “birther” crap. Same drummed-up charge used against Obama to question his citizenship and legitimacy. Hmmmmm…..I wonder what Obama and @KamalaHarris have in common? 🤔 https://t.co/FJALAcAsXd
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) January 22, 2019
I’ve been getting emails/tweets about the (completely false, utterly racist) “Kamala Harris isn’t a natural-born American” narrative for weeks, but it seems to be ramping up up on the fringes of the right now that she’s said she’s running. pic.twitter.com/PuBTMSkSxy
— Molly Hensley-Clancy (@mollyhc) January 22, 2019
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo appeared to initially take a “both sides” approach to the issue, though he took down the initial tweet and tried to clear it up in subsequent ones.
“And hopefully there will be no games where the issue keeps changing for righty accusers…and…the legit info abt Harris comes out to deal with the allegation ASAP. The longer there is no proof either way, the deeper the effect,” Cuomo wrote initially.
Wohl’s favorite President used this same othering tactic with President Barack Obama, inciting the rabble so much that Obama eventually released his long-form birth certificate.
There is a rich and disturbing history in American politics of accusing politicians of color of being un-American, usually due to their parents’ immigration from another country of origin. In 2012, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and then-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) were also smeared with birther claims. Both men were born in America and are, of course, citizens.
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism