Trump stokes ‘birther’ theory about Kamala Harris

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President Donald Trump claims he has listened to Democratic operating mate Kamala Harris “does not qualify” to provide as US vice-president, amplifying a fringe legal theory critics decry as racist.

Ms Harris was born to a Jamaican father and Indian mom in Oakland, California, on 20 October 1964.

But a conservative law professor has questioned her eligibility.

For yrs, Mr Trump promoted a fake “birther” idea that President Barack Obama was not born in the US.

Ms Harris, a California senator, was unveiled on Tuesday as the first woman of color to provide as working mate on a principal-bash US presidential ticket.

She is deputy to Democratic White Dwelling prospect Joe Biden, who will obstacle Mr Trump, a Republican, in November’s general election.

What did Trump say?

At Thursday’s push meeting, Mr Trump was questioned about the argument against Ms Harris.

The president claimed: “I just read it nowadays that she isn’t going to meet the specifications and by the way the attorney that wrote that piece is a incredibly very competent, pretty proficient lawyer.

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Media captionWho is Kamala Harris? A seem at her everyday living and political career

“I have no notion if which is ideal. I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she will get picked to operate for vice-president.

“But that is a very major, you might be expressing that, they’re stating that she isn’t going to qualify for the reason that she was not born in this place.”

The reporter replied there was no question that Ms Harris was born in the US, simply just that her mothers and fathers may well not have been authorized everlasting residents at that time.

Before on Thursday, a Trump marketing campaign adviser, Jenna Ellis, reposted a tweet from the head of conservative team Judicial Enjoy, Tim Fitton.

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Media captionKamala Harris’ childhood home reacts to Biden select

In that tweet, Mr Fitton questioned whether Ms Harris was “ineligible to be Vice President underneath the US Constitution’s ‘Citizenship Clause'”.

He also shared an belief piece printed in Newsweek journal by John Eastman, a regulation professor at Chapman University in California.

What is the law professor’s argument?

Prof Eastman cites Short article II of the US Constitution’s wording that “no human being besides a purely natural born citizen… shall be qualified to the business office of President”.

He also factors out that the 14th Amendment to the Structure states “all people born… in the United States, and matter to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens”.

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Media captionJoe Biden: Will it be 3rd time lucky in 2020?

Prof Eastman’s argument hinges on the concept that Ms Harris may perhaps not have been subject to US jurisdiction if her mom and dad were being, for case in point, on college student visas at the time of their daughter’s beginning in California.

In 2010, Prof Eastman ran to be the Republican applicant for California lawyer basic. He misplaced to Steve Cooley, who went on to be defeated by Ms Harris in the typical election.

Subsequent furious backlash to the Newsweek op-ed, its editor-in-chief Nancy Cooper stood by the final decision to publish, arguing on Thursday that Prof Eastman’s article had “nothing at all to do with racist birtherism”. 

What do other constitutional industry experts say?

An additional constitutional regulation skilled explained to CBS News, the BBC’s US companion, that Prof Eastman’s argument about Ms Harris’ eligibility was “certainly silly”.

Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of Berkeley Regulation University, wrote in an email: “Beneath section 1 of the 14th Modification, any person born in the United States is a United States citizen.

“The Supreme Courtroom has held this because the 1890s. Kamala Harris was born in the United States.”

Laurence Tribe, a constitutional legislation professor at Harvard College and repeated critic of President Trump, termed Prof Eastman’s argument “rubbish” and “racist birtherism redux”.

Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Regulation School, advised the Affiliated Press news agency: “Let’s just be honest about what it is: It truly is just a racist trope we trot out when we have a prospect of color whose mother and father had been not citizens.”

How did Trump gas the Obama ‘birther’ principle?

Back again in 2011 Mr Trump began stoking suitable-wing theories that President Obama may have been born in Kenya.

Even when Mr Obama developed a copy of his beginning certificate in April that year demonstrating he was born in Hawaii, Mr Trump continued to declare it was a “fraud”.

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Media captionDonald Trump in 2016: “Hillary Clinton… began the “birther” controversy

Through a September 2016 press conference Mr Trump, then the Republican White Dwelling prospect, was asked about the make any difference.

He sought to acquire credit rating for dispelling doubts in excess of Mr Obama’s eligibility, telling reporters: “I finished it. President Obama was born in the United States. Period of time.”

Mr Trump also argued in 2016 that his Republican rival Ted Cruz was not qualified to operate for president due to the fact he was born in Canada to a US citizen mother and a Cuban-born father.

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