Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

Donald Trump spreads conspiracy theories about Kamala Harris

Donald Trump has fuelled a disputed conspiracy theory that Democratic candidate Kamala Harris ‘doesn’t qualify’ to run for US vice-president.

Ms Harris was born in Oakland, California, to a Jamaican father and Indian mother in 1964.

But Mr Trump told reporters overnight he heard ‘very serious’ rumours Ms Harris was ineligible to serve in the White House, because she was born to immigrant parents.

The president, who for years peddled the false ‘birther’ theory that Barack Obama was not born in the US , pointed to the fringe views of a conservative law professor who questioned Ms Harris’s eligibility.

He said: ‘I just 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. 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.’

Professor John Eastman argued in a Newsweek opinion piece the US Constitution does not grant citizenship to all people born in the US, writing Ms Harris may be ineligible to run if her parents were not ‘lawful permanent residents at the time of her birth’.


But critics say there is no question Ms Harris is a US citizen, dismissing the theory as ‘racist trope’.

Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School, said: ‘Full stop, end of story, period, exclamation point.

‘Let’s just be honest about what it is: It’s just a racist trope we trot out when we have a candidate of colour whose parents were not citizens.’

Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe told The New York Times the theory was ‘total BS’.

Meghan McCain, the daughter of former Republican candidate John McCain, tweeted: ‘This is a gross, dark trend in American politics about birth qualification which is all clear and obvious. Stop.’

If Joe Biden is elected president in November, Ms Harris will become the first US vice-president of black and Asian heritage.

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