The White House and the Trump campaign on Sunday both said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is eligible to serve as vice president, blaming the media for hyping a non-story.
Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” if Harris is eligible, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said, “Yeah.”
“This is not something that we’re going to pursue … y’all have spent more time on it than anybody in the White House has talking about this,” Meadows said.
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller also said no one in the campaign is talking about the story.
“In our opinion, it is case closed. End of story. And the only folks who keep bringing it up are the media,” Miller said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Numerous fact checks have clearly said Harris is eligible. She was born in Oakland, California, to a Jamaican-born father and an Indian mother, making her a “natural born citizen” as required by the Constitution. At 55, she is 20 years older than the age requirement to run for the presidency.
President Trump was asked last week about the reports.
“I have nothing to do with it. I read something about it,” Trump said Saturday during a news conference. “It’s not something that bothers me. … It’s not something that we will be pursuing.”
Asked point-blank if Harris is eligible, Trump replied: “I just told you. I have not got into it in great detail.”
“This Week” host George Stephanopoulos said to Miller, “But he did not say she’s eligible to run for president.”
“George, he made very clear, it’s not something that he’s brought up,” Miller said. “It’s something that media keeps bringing up, whether to him in his press conferences or even interview formats like this, where it’s being brought up.”
Newsweek last week published an op-ed written by John Eastman, “a conservative attorney who argues that the Constitution doesn’t grant birthright citizenship,” The Associated Press reported. “Eastman sowed doubt about Harris’ eligibility based on her parents’ immigration status. After receiving heavy criticism for publishing the piece, Newsweek defended its decision only to reverse course and apologize,” the AP said.
“‘This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize,’ read Newsweek’s editor’s note on Friday, which replaced the magazine’s earlier detailed defense of the op-ed,” the AP wrote.
“‘We entirely failed to anticipate the ways in which the essay would be interpreted, distorted and weaponized,’ read the apology, signed by Josh Hammer, opinion editor, and Nancy Cooper, global editor in chief. But they ended the note by saying that the op-ed would remain on the site, with their note attached.”
Newsweek earlier defended the piece, arguing that Eastman “was focusing on a long-standing, somewhat arcane legal debate” about the 14th Amendment and not trying to “ignite a racist conspiracy theory around Kamala Harris’ candidacy.”
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