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CNN host Chris Cuomo suggested Kamala Harris should prove she was born in the US and the internet swiftly rebuked him

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Kamala Harris

  • CNN host Chris Cuomo jumped into a Twitter debate Tuesday on whether Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who was born in San Francisco Bay city of Oakland, is constitutionally eligible for the White House because her parents are immigrants.
  • In a tweet, Cuomo suggested that Harris should “deal with the allegation” to avoid trouble later down the campaign road. His audience quickly hit back, saying it was an example of a “birtherism.”
  • The phrase was used when President Barack Obama was in office, during which time private-citizen Donald Trump publicly questioned whether Obama was born in the US.
  • Cuomo removed his tweet and apologized, saying Harris “has no duty to justify any such accusation.”

CNN host Chris Cuomo landed himself in a bit of trouble Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that California Sen. Kamala Harris, who on Monday announced her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, should prove that she was born in the US in order to avoid trouble later down the campaign trail.

Cuomo made the comment on Twitter after an alt-right conspiracy theorist and provocateur falsely claimed that Harris is ineligible for the Oval Office because her father, a Jamaican immigrant, and her mother, an Indian immigrant, were not legal residents for five years prior to her birth.

The theory also suggests that Harris cannot run for president because she spent part of her childhood in Canada. Regardless of her parents’ immigration status at the time of her birth, Harris has the right to run for president because she was born in the US (Oakland, California), a right protected by Article 2, Section 1 of the US constitution.

However, in a tweet, Cuomo seemed to suggest that Harris should prove her citizenship in order to avoid trouble later.

“And 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,” Cuomo’s tweet read. The comment was quickly deleted after swift rebuke from Cuomo’s audience.

The CNN host quickly apologized, saying his comments were taken “literally the opposite way” he intended.

Read more:Here’s why the firestorm over Ted Cruz’s Canadian birth is nothing like the Obama ‘birther’ controversy

Both Cuomo’s original comment, the false conspiracy theory, and the reaction to it alluded to the infamous birtherism claim that President Barack Obama was not born in the US. Then-private citizen Donald Trump pushed that idea, which was later co-opted by conservative and right-wing figures. Obama is a US citizen and was born in Hawaii.

Trump later disavowed the assertion during his own presidential campaign in 2016.

SEE ALSO: Trump is reviving the attack that made him politically famous — this time against a new target

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