Graham on Harris: ‘No issue’ as to whether ‘she is an American citizen’

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) broke with President Trump on Friday by saying there is no debate over whether Sen. Kamala Harris is a U.S. citizen, remarks that came after the president encouraged a conspiracy theory that the California Democrat may not be eligible to serve as vice president because her parents are immigrants.

In a pair of tweets, Graham, a frequent defender of Trump, said he disagreed with Harris on “plenty of issues,” calling her “one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate.” But he said there should be no debate over her citizenship status.

“There are plenty of issues to find disagreement with @KamalaHarris regarding her record as Senator or as a Vice Presidential nominee,” Graham tweeted. “She is consistently rated one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate, fully embracing a radical Democratic agenda.”

“However, there is no issue as to whether or not she is an American citizen,” he continued. “She was born in the United States in 1964 to parents who were legally present. Under the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent, she is unequivocally an American citizen.”

Graham’s tweets come a day after Trump appeared to promote a racist conspiracy theory holding that Harris might be ineligible to serve as vice president because she was born to immigrant parents. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden named Harris as his running mate on Tuesday.

“I heard today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” Trump told reporters at a press briefing on Thursday. “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.”

Harris was born in California to parents of Jamaican and Indian origin. People born in the U.S. are American citizens, with few exceptions, such as children born to foreign diplomats living in the U.S.

It’s not the first time Trump has raised questions about a Black politician’s citizenship status. A decade ago, he promoted a similar conspiracy theory about former President Obama, who was born in Hawaii.

Tags 2020 election Barack Obama California Citizenship Conspiracy theory Donald Trump Hawaii Joe Biden Lindsey Graham running mate vice presidency

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