Trump stokes Kamala Harris ‘birther’ conspiracy

Washington DC, Aug 13 (efe-epa).- United States’ President Donald Trump on Thursday stoked a conspiracy theory that questioned the eligibility of Senator Kamala Harris as vice presidential candidate, saying the claim was “very serious.”

The conspiracy was raised by conservative sectors claiming that Harris is the daughter of immigrants which makes her ineligible to be vice president under US law.

“I just heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” Trump told reporters during his daily press conference on COVID-19.

“I have no idea if that’s right,” he added. “I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.”

“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 daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, Harris was born on Oct. 20, 1964 in Oakland, California. She, therefore, is a US citizen by birth and can run for the two highest positions in the country, the vice presidency and the presidency.

The US Constitution establishes the right to citizenship by birth, regardless of parents’ nationality, something that Trump has tried unsuccessfully to revoke.

The “birther” theory, deemed by many as racist, began to circulate after the publication of an opinion piece printed in Newsweek magazine by a conservative law professor at Chapman University in California, John Eastman, who questioned whether the Constitution established American nationality from birth.

Eastman argued that if the senator’s parents were not permanent residents at the time of her birth, she would not have the right to citizenship, something widely rejected in the legal field.

On Thursday, however, a Trump campaign adviser, Jennis Ellis, reposted a tweet from the president of the conservative group Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, who, by quoting Eastman’s article, questioned whether Harris is “ineligible to be Vice President under the US Constitution’s ‘Citizenship Clause.’”

In 2011, Trump was the main driver of another false birther theory that then-president Barack Obama was not born in the US, which forced the president to make his birth certificate public.

Former first lady Michelle Obama wrote in her memoir “Becoming,” published in November 2018, that she “will never forgive” Trump for spreading that false theory and accused him of having “put her family’s safety at risk.” EFE-EPA


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