Fact check: Trump promotes another birther lie, this time about Kamala Harris


On Thursday, he began to pitch a new lie about Senator Kamala Harris, who, if elected, would be America’s first Black and Asian Vice President.

Trump’s inflammatory nonsense about Harris was part of a self-proclaimed “press conference” Thursday, which he used extensively to campaign against his Democratic opponents in the election. Trump has also made a series of false statements about former Vice President Joe Biden, Democrats more broadly, and, again, postal voting.

Trump was briefed on allegations on “social media” that Harris may not be eligible for president and vice president. He was then asked if he could say definitively that she met the conditions.

Trump said: “I heard today that she does not qualify. He called a lawyer who raised the issue in a Newsweek article, Chapman University Professor John Eastman, “very highly qualified.”Trump then said he had “no idea” if it was true that Harris did not meet the requirements. He then asked the reporter if she said Harris was not eligible because Harris “was not born in this country.”

The facts first: Harris was born in Oakland, California. Therefore, as a citizen by birth, she meets the constitutional requirements to serve as Vice President. There is no serious question about this.

The fact that Harris’ parents were immigrants – her father was from Jamaica, her mother from India – does not change the fact that she is unquestionably eligible.

Trump said he was not sure whether Harris was eligible or not; he concluded his comments by saying, “I just heard about it, I’m going to take a look.” Nonetheless, his posture of just asking questions – which he also employed with his Obama birtherism – does not change the fact that he credited the conspiracy theory with praising the author of the article, claiming that he had heard that Harris didn’t. eligible, and raising the possibility that Harris was not born in the United States.

Trump spent the start of his press conference lambasting Biden. Here’s a look at the facts surrounding some of these attacks.

Biden and pandemic plans

Trump has claimed he has already done everything Biden asked him to do to respond to the pandemic.

“In fact, a lot of things – it’s been well reported in the last few days – every thing he said do, every thing, we did, and we did it right. ”

The facts first: It is not true that Trump did everything Biden asked for. While there is certainly some overlap between Biden’s proposals and Trump’s actions, Biden made a number of proposals that Trump did not implement.

For example, Biden called on Trump to “train a Public Health Jobs Corps – hiring at least 100,000 Americans to help build a data-driven disease surveillance system to spot and contain outbreaks before they spread.” . Trump did not do this.

Biden also called on Trump to provide full information on the state of testing in the country, “including the number of tests completed, results and the average wait time for results.” The federal government does not provide this information on a systematic basis.

And Biden called for a greater federal role in the provision of medical supplies, proposing the creation of a “supply commander to take command of the national supply chain.” Trump bragged about how the federal government has helped with procurement, but he also insisted that states should play a leading role in securing them.

Biden and a mask warrant

Trump said Biden wanted to impose a federal mandate to force people to wear masks, questioning a president’s power to do so.

“He wants the President of the United States, with the stroke of a pen,” Trump said of Biden, “to order over 300 million American citizens to wear masks for at least three consecutive months.”

“I guess it just happened, he thinks it’s good policy, I guess,” Trump continued.

The facts first: Thursday, Biden he told me that governors – not the federal government – should impose a mask mandate. In June, however, Biden said he would impose masks “from an executive point of view.”

In a speech on the coronavirus on Thursday, Biden argued that “every governor should mandate the mandatory wearing of a mask.”

“All Americans should wear a mask when they are outside for at least three months,” Biden also said. “It’s not about your rights, it’s about your responsibilities as an American. ”

Asked on June 26 by CNN’s Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA if he would use his federal influence to mandate the wearing of a mask, Biden said he would. ” Yes I’ll do it. From an executive standpoint, yes I would, ”Biden said.

Biden was again asked if he “would actually enforce the wearing of masks,” he replied: “I would do anything. [possible] so that people have to wear masks in public ”.

Biden, immigration and the pandemic

Trump claimed that Biden’s immigration policy, which Trump called “ridiculous open borders”, “would allow the pandemic to infiltrate all American communities.”

The facts first: The coronavirus has already spread to all US states under Trump’s immigration policy; there is no evidence to suggest that Biden’s immigration policy is responsible for the existence of the pandemic in the country. And while Biden offers a much less restrictive immigration policy than Trump’s, he does not offer completely unfettered migration like Trump’s. say again claims “open borders”.

Biden and the press

The president, who answered questions from the press every evening this week, criticized Biden for allegedly doing the opposite.

“He refuses to answer questions. He never answers questions, ”Trump said. “I take questions, he never takes questions. And you kind of wonder what’s going on because it’s not that hard. Some may be mean, but it’s not that hard.

The facts first: While Biden has been criticized for not answering more questions from the press, and while he certainly takes fewer than Trump, it is not true to suggest he did not take any. There were several speeches where Biden took questions as good as full interviews with the press. Biden last held an official media availability on July 28.

Biden and schools

Trump also accused Biden of wanting to shut down schools and “shut down society” by federal executive order.

Of Biden, Trump said, “He wants to shut down our economy, shut down our schools and shut down society. And he wants this to be done by federal decree ”.

The facts first: CNN could not find evidence that Biden was calling for a federal executive order to close schools. Instead, Biden offered a five point plan for states to reopen schools, which focuses on stopping the spread of the virus “with the safety of students and educators in mind.”

“Everyone wants our schools to reopen. The question is, how do you make it safe, how do you make it hold, ”Biden said in a video accompanying the plan.

Trump continued to denounce voting plots.

Democrats, Schools and Election

Trump claimed Democrats were trying to “keep people away from the polls” by keeping schools closed.

“Some people say they don’t want – Democrats don’t want – schools to be open because that’s where you have a lot of polling stations, and if you have a closed school you can’t very easily have polling stations at school, ”he said.

He concluded: “Maybe we can show that this is a fact. ”

The facts first: This is a conspiracy theory for which there is simply no proof. (With his “maybe” line, Trump seemed to implicitly suggest that he was not currently in a position to prove it.)

Origins of the postal ballot

The president claimed that post offices receive millions of ballots and “no one knows where”.

The facts first: The ballots come from the voters. Although Trump and his allies already have floated the possibility of political agents sending out fraudulent ballots that were not filled out by voters, states have several systems in place to verify the authenticity of each ballot, including matching signatures on the ballots with the signature of the registered voter to whom it belongs.

Trump also repeated a number of lies he had previously told, including claims that:

  • All children cope with the coronavirus very well. (Some children have died from coronavirus or have a strange and serious associated illness, but overall, children are less likely to develop severe symptoms than adults.)
  • Postal voting is good while universal postal voting is very bad. (While there may be differences in the methods used to implement the two, experts say they are largely the same and both are safe voting methods.)
  • There were fraudulent ballots in the New York Democratic primary won by Representative Carolyn Maloney. (There is no evidence of fraud in this race, although there has been a legal dispute over other voting matters, like missing signatures and late postmarks.)
  • Foreign countries can easily forge ballots. (Experts say this is simply not true due to various ballot security measures. Additionally, each state has its own system, and each district has a unique set of candidates.)


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