Democrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris

President Trump on Thursday drew swift backlash after he declined to disavow a baseless and racist conspiracy theory that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) would not be eligible to serve as vice president.

Trump at a news conference was asked about an op-ed in Newsweek that was shared by an adviser to his campaign that raised the possibility Harris, who was born in Oakland, Calif., to immigrant parents, does not meet the requirements to hold the office.

The president, who spent much of then-President Obama’s time in office pushing the racist and unfounded “birther theory” that he was not born in the United States, said he had “no idea” if Harris was ineligible to run for vice president.

“I just heard that. I heard it today, that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” he said. “And by the way, the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, 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,” he continued. “I don’t know about it. I just heard about it. I’ll take a look.”

Trump was referencing a Newsweek column by John Eastman, a conservative attorney who called into question the citizenship status of Harris’s parents at the time of her birth. The column was retweeted by Jenna Ellis, a Trump campaign adviser.

Harris is eligible to hold the office of vice president. She is the first woman of color to be named to a major party’s presidential ticket.

Democrats and some Trump critics were quick to hammer the president for entertaining the conspiracy theory about the senator.

“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,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign. “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.”

Democratic lawmakers quickly piled on, accusing Trump of trafficking in racism.

“White supremacy is a belief system based on the idea that ppl of color, esp Black ppl, are fundamentally illegitimate as equal citizens or human beings,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted. “Calling into question the citizenship of elected officials of color, esp when the answer is obvious, is one way it manifests.”

“Oh look, @realDonaldTrump doubling down on racism again, this time a repeat of his racist birther stuff,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted. “That’s the only thing @POTUS has left: racial grievance politics. He failed at the economy. He failed at the pandemic. He failed at health care.He’s going to lose in Nov.”

“Trump’s birtherism was racist in 2011. Trump’s birtherism is racist in 2020. It really is that simple,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted.

Meghan McCain, who has been an ardent Trump critic, called the conspiracy theory part of a “gross, dark trend in American politics about birth qualification which is all clear and obvious.” She noted that her father, the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), faced similar attacks because he was born on a military base.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Donald Trump John McCain Meghan McCain Ted Lieu

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video