Throughout his candidacy and his presidency, Barack Obama was frequently hit with a conspiracy theory suggesting that he was not born in the United States. There was never the slightest bit of truth to the conspiracy — Obama was born in 1961 in Hawaii, as was backed up by every piece of documentation. One key proponent of the theory was Donald Trump, who ended up succeeding Obama as president. Jerome Corsi, who wrote a book questioning the validity of Obama’s birth certificate, is in now in the news in connection to the Mueller investigation.
Now, another candidate for president is facing a similar but equally baseless charge.
Jacob Wohl, the online Trump backer who gained prominence last year when he attempted to stage a false accusation of sexual misconduct against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, per Vanity Fair, wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning that “Kamala Harris is NOT eligible to be President. Her father arrived from Jamaica in 1961—mother from India arrived in 1960 Neither parent was a legal resident for 5 years prior to Harris’s birth, a requirement for naturalization.” He went on to say that Harris was “raised in Canada.”
Harris, a Demoratic senator from California who formally announced Monday that she is running for president in 2020, was born in Oakland, California, in 1964, per Straight — meaning that she is, in fact, a United States citizen, and is therefore eligible for the presidency. Harris did spend some of her childhood in Montreal, following her parents’ divorce, but she returned to the U.S. to attend college. There seems to be little evidence to suggest any contrary information, despite Wohl’s earlier claims.
Harris, like Obama, is African-American. No other major presidential candidate has ever had their citizenship or eligibility questioned.
Wohl is something of a marginal figure, but the mainstream media quickly grabbed at the allegation. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo wrote on Twitter that “hopefully there will be no games where the issue keeps changing for righty accusers…and…the legit info abt Harris comes out to deal with the allegation ASAP. The longer there is no proof either way, the deeper the effect.”
The statement, which appeared to grant credence to the baseless accusation, led to angry reactions to Cuomo’s tweet. The anchor, though, later backtracked, arguing that he was putting the onus on “the accusers.”
Since she declared her candidacy, much of the scrutiny on Harris has centered on her record as a prosecutor, and how the policies she pursued as a district attorney and California attorney general are now less in line with present-day Democratic views on criminal justice reform.