During President Donald Trump’s latest press conference, a reporter asked Trump if Kamala Harris was eligible to serve as President of the United States should the need ever arise. Harris is eligible, but conspiracy theories have been circulating since last year claiming that she’s not. Read on to see what Trump said and learn more about the theories that are circulating.
Trump Said: ‘I Don’t Know… I’ll Take a Look’
A reporter asked Trump: “There are claims circulating on social media that Kamala Harris is not eligible to be, to run for Vice President because she was an anchor baby I think. Do you or can you definitively say whether or not Kamala Harris is eligible or meets the legal requirements to run as Vice President?”
Trump responded: “…I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements… And by the way the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer. 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. But that’s a very serious… You’re saying that, they’re saying that she doesn’t qualify because she wasn’t born in this country?”
The reporter corrects him and said that she was born in the United States, but her parents didn’t receive their permanent residence at that time.
“I don’t know about it. I just heard about it; I’ll take a look,” Trump responded.
Here’s the clip of when Trump was asked about Harris’ eligibility to serve as President.
You can watch the full press conference here.
Kamala Harris Was Born in Oakland, California
This claim about Harris has been circulating for quite some time. But the rumors are false. Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, was born in California and is a US citizen who is fully eligible to run for president of the United States, Fact Check reported.
The second article of the U.S. Constitution states that only a “natural born citizen” may become the president of the United States. The 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution spells out exactly what it means to be a U.S. citizen: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”
Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute specifies that anybody born on US soil is a “natural born US citizenship.” This has nothing to do with their parents or where they were born. Where a person’s parents are born is only relevant if the person was born outside of the United States.
Harris was born in Oakland, California on October 20, 1964, USA Today reported. Both of her parents are immigrants. Her mother, Shyamala Harris, came from India, and her father, Donald Harris, came from Jamaica.
Josh Chafetz, a Georgetown University Law Center professor, told Fact Check that she’s fully qualified and her parents’ being immigrants is irrelevant.
He said: “To serve as president, one must be at least 35 years old, have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years, and be a ‘natural born Citizen’ (Article II, sec. 1 of the Constitution). Additionally, one cannot have already been president for more than a term and a half (22nd Amendment).”
When Barack Obama first ran for the presidency, he faced an onslaught of erroneous questions about whether he was, in fact, a natural-born U.S. citizen. He was. John McCain, who ran against Obama in 2008, also faced questions about his own right to run for president. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, where his father, a Naval officer, was stationed at the time. Even Senator Ted Cruz faced questions about whether he was a “natural born” citizen. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada, in 1970. His birth certificate shows that his mother was born in Delaware and his father was born in Cuba.