‘False and racist conspiracy’: Publications label Trump’s birtherism against Kamala Harris for what it is
Composite image of Donald Trump and Kamala Harris (screengrabs)

President Donald Trump pushed a racist birther conspiracy theory against Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Tuesday.


But unlike when Trump pushed birtherism against President Barack Obama, the press immediately labeled the conspiracy theory as racist.

"President Donald Trump on Thursday gave credence to a false and racist conspiracy about Kamala Harris’ eligibility to be president, fueling an online misinformation campaign that parallels the one he used to power his rise into politics," is how the Associated Press reported on Trump's comments. "The conspiracy is false. Harris, who was tapped this week by Joe Biden to serve as his running mate on the Democratic ticket, was born in Oakland, California, and is eligible to be president under the constitutional requirements. The question is not even considered complex, according to lawyers who have reviewed her circumstances."

The AP was not alone.

"President Trump on Thursday encouraged a racist conspiracy theory that is rampant among some of his followers: that Senator Kamala Harris, the presumptive Democratic vice-presidential nominee born in California, was not eligible for the vice presidency or presidency because her parents were immigrants," The New York Times reported. "That assertion is false; Ms. Harris is eligible to serve."

"Mr. Trump appeared to be referencing a widely discredited op-ed written in Newsweek by John C. Eastman, a conservative attorney who has long argued that the United States Constitution does not grant birthright citizenship, as proof. Ms. Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, was born in 1964 in Oakland, Calif., several years after her parents arrived in the United States," the newspaper explained.

Though The Washington Post did not refer to Trump's birtherism as racist, it did label the attacks a "false conspiracy."

"Trump, who was a leader of the unfounded birther conspiracy about former president Barack Obama, piled on to similar conspiracies about Harris," the newspaper reported. "Harris was born in Oakland, Calif."

Here's how other's described Trump's comments.

"In a move that reeked of the birtherism, racism, and xenophobia that helped elevate him to office, President Donald Trump on Thursday said he’s “heard” that Sen. Kamala Harris may not 'meet the requirements' to appear on the Democratic presidential ticket and vowed to 'take a look' at the claim when someone asked the president if Harris is somehow not a natural born citizen," The Daily Beast reported. "The questions about Harris are without merit."

"Racist birther conspiracy," is how New York Magazine described it.