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Jared Kushner denies Trump 'promoting' questions about Kamala Harris

Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerNew Kushner group aims to promote relations between Arab states, Israel Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process Iran moves closer to a diplomatic breakthrough that may upset Israel MORE, President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE’s son-in-law and a senior adviser in the White House, insisted in an interview Friday that the president was not “promoting” false questions a day earlier about whether Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden to record video message for 'Vax Live' concert Harris says Mexico, US can work together to improve quality of life in Northern Triangle Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says 'it is time to pass the baton on to someone else' MORE (D-Calif.) is qualified to be president. 

Harris was born in the United States to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, and there is no question she meets the constitutional requirements to be vice president or president. 

But Trump on Thursday at a press conference referenced the baseless theory by referring to a piece in Newsweek written by John C. Eastman, a conservative lawyer who argues the Constitution does not give birthright citizenship. 

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“He just said that he had no idea whether that’s right or wrong, I don’t see that as promoting it. But look, at the end of the day, it’s something that’s out there,” Kushner said Friday morning on CBS. 

“I personally have no reason to believe she’s not,” he added when pushed on if he believed Harris was qualified to be vice president, adding that he would let Trump’s “words speak for himself.”

Trump stirred controversy at the Thursday press conference when he said that “the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, talented lawyer” and that he had “no idea if that’s right.”

The remarks reminded many observers of Trump's support for the false "birther" conspiracy that President Obama was not born in the United States.  

 

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Kushner doubled down in his defense of Trump later in the day, accusing the media of trying to spread “disinformation.”

“Right now you’re the one spreading that disinformation, the president was at a coronavirus briefing, he was asked by a reporter about a report in Newsweek, and his words were, ‘I don’t know anything about that.’ And since then the media has been going wild, basically saying he was pushing a theory. I’ll take him at his word that he said he doesn’t know anything about that, and that’s what he said,” he said Friday afternoon on CNN. 

The pushback from Kushner follows a flood of criticism from Democrats. 

"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." 

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