WH disavows Kamala Harris birther conspiracy theory

Some of the president’s men admit Kamala Harris is 100 percent qualified to win the veepstakes.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that Joe Biden’s newly minted running mate is eligible to serve as vice president, rejecting a racist birther conspiracy theory that President Trump has promoted.

Asked whether he acknowledges the fact that the California-born Harris meets the constitutional requirements to be president or vice president, Meadows replied: “Sure.”

“This is not something that we’re going to pursue.” Meadows added in the interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump twice this past week pointedly refused to say whether he believes Harris meets the legal requirements to serve in the White House.

A right wing law professor sparked a nasty firestorm last week when he claimed the California senator and former presidential candidate might not be eligible because her parents were immigrants to the United States.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) is pictured in the Dirksen Building in Washington, DC on June 2.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) is pictured in the Dirksen Building in Washington, DC on June 2.


Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) is pictured in the Dirksen Building in Washington, DC on June 2. (TOM WILLIAMS/)

Trump initially said Thursday that he had just heard the claim and had “no idea if that’s right,” but that the charge was serious and he would look into it.

Pressed again about the issue, Trump demurred on Saturday, suggesting that “if she has a problem,” it would be a reflection of Biden’s poor management of the Democratic ticket.

Trump’s gamesmanship is reminiscent of his promotion of the birther conspiracy theory that falsely claimed Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president, was not born in the U.S. Trump backed the racist trope for years and often tweeted demands for Obama to release his birth certificate, which shows he was born in Hawaii.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Aug. 15.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Aug. 15.


President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Aug. 15. (Susan Walsh/)

There is likewise no serious legal question about Harris’ right to run and serve.

The first woman of color named to a major party ticket, Harris, 55, was born in Oakland, making her a natural-born U.S. citizen. Her father, an economist from Jamaica, and her mother, a cancer researcher from India, met at the University of California, Berkeley, as graduate students.

The Constitution requires a vice president to meet the same eligibility requirements to be president. That includes being a natural-born U.S. citizen, at least 35 years old and a resident in the U.S. for at least 14 years. Harris fulfills all those criteria.

Harris said in an interview released Sunday that she knows the mudslinging will get worse in the weeks leading up to the make-or-break Nov. 3 election.

“They’re going to engage in an attempt to distract from the real issues that are impacting the American people,” she told TheGrio. “And I expect that they will engage in dirty tactics. And this is going to be a knockdown, drag-out. And we’re ready.”

Jason Miller, a Trump campaign adviser, asserted Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the president’s reelection campaign would not be promoting the conspiracy theory.

“It’s not something that anyone in our campaign is talking about,” Miller said. “It’s case closed. End of story.”