US Editor
Kamala Harris has been named as the Democratic vice presidential nominee by Joe Biden
Kamala Harris has been named as the Democratic vice presidential nominee by Joe Biden Credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump has said he will look into claims that Kamala Harris is not eligible to run for the US vice presidency because her parents were immigrants, prompting an immediate backlash over the interest in a new “birther” conspiracy. 

The US president praised the lawyer who wrote a piece outlining why he believed Ms Harris三级成人视频 may not be allowed to run for the position because she is not a natural born citizen, though Mr Trump also said he did not know if it was true. 

Ms Harris was born in Oakland, California. However speculation online has claimed that because her Indian mother and Jamaican father may not have been US citizens at the time of her birth she does not meet the requirement to be a “natural born citizen”. 

Constitutional lawyers have been quick to dismiss the claim and multiple have concluded that Ms Harris is a US citizen, meaning the allegation is false. But Mr Trump was more equivocal when asked about the idea at a White House press briefing. 

Mr Trump said: “So I just heard that. I 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.”

三级成人视频Mr Trump appeared unsure of the exact claim. He asked if it was that Ms Harris was not born in the US and was told by a reporter that the suggestion was that her parents were not citizens when she was born. 

“I don’t know about it. I just heard about it. I’ll take a look,” Mr Trump said before moving on to take other questions. 

The lawyer Mr Trump appeared to be referencing was John Eastman, a conservative law professor who wrote an opinion piece for Newsweek headlined online “Some Questions for Kamala Harris About Eligibility”.

三级成人视频In the piece Mr Eastman noted that Article Two of the US Constitution says that “[n]o person except a natural born citizen...shall be eligible to the office of President” and that the same rules apply for the vice president.

三级成人视频However he then argues that Ms Harris may not be a “natural born citizen” despite being born in America because her parents were not US citizens at her birth in 1964, claiming that is the correct interpretation of the phrase.

That argument is not accepted by constitutional law scholars. Laurence Tribe, a Harvard University professor of constitutional law, told The Associated Press in 2019 when the false claims first emerged: “I can’t believe people are making this idiotic comment.” 

The claims are especially controversial since Ms Harris is Asian-American and the daughter of immigrants. She is the first woman of colour to be on a presidential ticket of a major US political party.

The backlash against the article led to Newsweek adding an editor’s note which read: “Some readers reacted strongly to this essay, seeing it as an attempt to ignite a racist conspiracy theory. That is entirely inaccurate.”

On Thursday, Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser for the Trump campaign, shared the article on Twitter. She later told ABC News: “It’s an open question, and one I think Harris should answer so the American people know for sure she is eligible.”

三级成人视频Republicans were among those who rejected the claims. Frank Luntz, the pollster, tweeted: “Spoiler: She was born in Oakland, California.”

Ms Harris’s sister Maya Harris appeared to hit out at Mr Trump’s comments, saying: “There are no gradations of birtherism. You’re either in or you’re out.”

Mr Trump was one of the most prominent proponents of the original ‘birther’ conspiracy which claimed that Barack Obama was not born in America and therefore should never have been allowed to become US president. 

Mr Trump’s relentless pushing of the idea, including demanding Ms Obama release his birth certificate, helped launch his political career, which eventually saw him claim the White House after winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. 

Fact checkers at The Associated Press and Snoopes.com concluded the suggestion Ms Harris was ineligible to run for the vice presidency was false.