Lindsey Graham breaks with Trump: ‘No issue’ whether Kamala Harris is US citizen

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Summer Lin
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Sen. Lindsey Graham broke with President Trump on Friday, writing that there is “no issue” as to whether Sen. Kamala Harris is a U.S. citizen.

“There are plenty of issues to find disagreement with @KamalaHarris regarding her record as Senator or as a Vice Presidential nominee,” Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, tweeted. “She is consistently rated one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate, fully embracing a radical Democratic agenda.”

“However, there is no issue as to whether or not she is an American citizen,” he added. “She was born in the United States in 1964 to parents who were legally present. Under the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent, she is unequivocally an American citizen.”

Trump questioned whether Harris is eligible to be vice president during a Thursday press briefing.

“I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” he said. “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’ve — I would have assumed the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for Vice President.”

Trump was referencing an op-ed published in Newsweek that argues the Constitution doesn’t permit birthright citizenship, The New York Times reported.

Harris was born in 1964 in Oakland, California, making her eligible to serve as vice president. Her parents are Jamaican and Indian immigrants who moved to the U.S. before Harris was born. The 14th Amendent of the U.S. Constitution states “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.” The Supreme court ruled that any person born in the United States is a citizen, no matter the citizenship status of their parents.

Harris is both the first Black and Asian American woman to be a major party’s vice presidential candidate.

Trump previously touted a birther conspiracy theory about former President Barack Obama, the nation’s first Black president, falsely claiming that he wasn’t born in the U.S. and questioning the legitimacy of his birth certificate. Obama was born in Hawaii.

“Donald Trump was the national leader of the grotesque, racist birther movement with respect to President Obama and has sought to fuel racism and tear our nation apart on every single day of his presidency,” Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, told The Hill. “So it’s unsurprising, but no less abhorrent, that as Trump makes a fool of himself straining to distract the American people from the horrific toll of his failed coronavirus response that his campaign and their allies would resort to wretched, demonstrably false lies in their pathetic desperation.”

Trump suggested in 2011 that Obama didn’t have a birth certificate and relented in 2016, saying “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.”

Harris criticized Trump in her first speech as Biden’s running mate on Wednesday, slamming the president for his response to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, CNN reported.

“He inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground,” she said.

“This is what happens when we elect a guy who just isn’t up for the job,” Harris added. “Our country ends in tatters and so does our reputation around the world.”

Trump has responded by calling her a “radical leftist,” “nasty” and a “madwoman”.