Newsweek Apologizes For Op-Ed Questioning Harris Eligibility

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., looks up as she signs required documents for receiving the Democratic nomination for President and Vice President of the United States in Wilmington, Del., Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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Newsweek has apologized for an op-ed that questioned Sen. Kamala Harris’ U.S. citizenship and her eligibility to be Joe Biden’s running mate, a false and racist conspiracy theory which President Donald Trump has not dismissed.

“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.

“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.

The op-ed was written by John Eastman, a conservative attorney who argues that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t grant birthright citizenship. Eastman sowed doubt about Harris’ eligibility based on her parents’ immigration status. Harris’ mother was born in India and her father was born in Jamaica.

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.”

 

But the theory is false. Harris, who was tapped by Joe Biden to serve as his running mate on the Democratic ticket, was born in Oakland, California, and is eligible for both the vice presidency and presidency under the constitutional requirements. The question is not even considered complex, according to constitutional lawyers.

Trump built his political career on questioning a political opponent’s legitimacy. He was a high-profile force behind the “birther movement” — the lie that questioned whether President Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president, was eligible to serve. Only after mounting pressure during his 2016 campaign did Trump disavow the claims.

Asked about the matter at the White House on Thursday, Trump told reporters he had “heard” rumors that Harris does not meet the requirement to serve in the White House. The president said he considered the rumors “very serious.”

(AP)

6 COMMENTS

  1. As far as I can find on the web. Trump did not bring up the topic – the reporters ambushed Trump on a topic that Trump had never previously mentioned. Then they proceeded to mis-characterize what Trump responded.

  2. Ap craphead bias lies !!!! “birther theory was promulgated by hilary when she ran in primary against obama!!!by harris a reporter asked trump about birther claims against harris and he responded ” I heard about that”. That’s called didn’t refute them????? ap is part of the filthy lying swamp and yeshiva world news continuously and shamelessly quote them!!!

  3. worst piece yet from ap. a legal question is a legal question, not racist. trump doesn’t have to refute it. no one claims he’s a lawyer. as far as the birther ‘lie’… what’s the lie? Obama indeed never produced a birth certificate. the Scotus ruled he could still be president. no lie on trump’s part

  4. an op-ed that questioned Sen. Kamala Harris’ U.S. citizenship

    That is an outright filthy LIE.

    The op-ed was written by John Eastman, a conservative attorney who argues that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t grant birthright citizenship.

    Another outright LIE. There is no doubt that she is a US citizen and NOBODY HAS EVER QUESTIONED THAT. Certainly not Eastman.

    and her eligibility to be Joe Biden’s running mate, a false and racist conspiracy theory

    This is way beyond a mere lie, it’s literally an insane statement. Eastman wrote a LEGAL OPINION; how can that be “a false and racist conspiracy theory”? He is a genuine expert on the law and he wrote about an open question of law.

    No court has yet ruled on the meaning of the term “natural born citizen”, and probably no court will ever rule on it. The evidence is strongly in favor of an interpretation that deems Harris eligible, and the argument that Eastman cited against it is not persuasive, but there’s nothing racist about it, and it’s simply bizarre to call it a “conspiracy theory”!

    Whoever wrote this piece is not only a filthy liar but also a moron who is incapable of understanding even the concept of a legal question.

  5. Participant, two errors:

    1) 0bama did eventually produce his birth certificate, after years of refusing to do so.

    2) SCOTUS never ruled that he was eligible. No court has even considered the question of his eligibility, because nobody with standing to challenge it has ever done so. Courts cannot consider questions that are not properly before them.