President Trump is questioning the citizenship of the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, whose parents are immigrants, much like he did for years when former president Barack Obama was in office in a lie that became known as “birtherism.”
For years, Trump claimed Obama, who was born in Hawaii, was not born in the United States. Harris’ parents were Indian and Jamaican immigrants, but Harris was born in Oakland, California in 1964. On Wednesday, Newsweek ran an opinion essay by Chapman University School of Law Professor John C. Eastman in which he questioned whether she could run because her parents weren’t naturalized citizens. Many legal experts called the claim racist, although Eastman denied to Inside Edition that it was.
Under the 14th amendment, anybody born in the United States is a U.S. citizen.
"I heard it today that she doesn't meet the requirements," Trump told reporters who asked him about the op-ed at a press conference. "I have no idea if that's right. I would have thought, I would have assumed, that the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.”
Trump also mentioned that Eastman is a "very highly qualified, very talented lawyer."
The Biden campaign was not pleased with Trump's response to the false birther theory.
"Donald Trump was the national leader of the grotesque, racist birther movement with respect to President Obama and has sought to fuel racism and tear our nation apart on every single day of his presidency," a Biden campaign spokesman said in an email, according to BBC.
"So it's unsurprising, but no less abhorrent, that as Trump makes a fool of himself straining to distract the American people from the horrific toll of his failed coronavirus response that his campaign and their allies would resort to wretched, demonstrably false lies in their pathetic desperation," the statement continued.
Also this week, Trump retweeted posts that criticized Harris and Biden using derogatory terms.
“While Biden plays hide and seek with Camel Laugh, Trump plays 3 dimensional Chess with the Middle East and wins historical deals!! 'Play it again Sam' how the Democrats will lose everything in November! TRUMP IS THE GREATEST!!!," read one of the retweets.
The other one read: “Let’s get this straight right away Camel Laugh and China Joe will lie, lie, and lie and the media will NOT challenge them on all the false statements they make. IT IS UP TO AMERICAN WARRIORS TO GET THE TRUTH OUT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!!”