Donald Trump is fueling a lie on social media that Nikki Haley isn’t eligible to be president because she’s not a natural-born U.S. citizen ― the same lie he spread about former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.).
It’s almost as if there is something ― something! ― about all of these people who happen to be not white and who happen to have immigrant parents that makes Trump wonder if they are real Americans. What could it be!
In Haley’s case, Trump on Monday posted a screenshot to his Truth Social account of a false story claiming that his Republican presidential opponent is disqualified from being president or vice president because “reports indicate that her parents were not U.S. citizens at the time of her birth in 1972.”
That story, published by the far-right website, The Gateway Pundit, and shared by Trump to his 5.5 million Truth Social followers, is as ugly as it is nonsensical. Haley was born in South Carolina. She is a natural-born U.S. citizen. She is eligible to be president.
Donald Trump is fueling a lie on social media that Nikki Haley is not eligible to be president.
But just like he did to Obama, Harris and Cruz when they were his primary political opponents, Trump pushing the racist idea that because Haley has immigrant parents (her parents are from India), she must not be a real American and is therefore disqualified from running for president.
Trump aggressively spread this lie about Obama, for years, fueling wild conspiracy theories about Obama being born in Kenya instead of Hawaii, where he was actually born. Trump routinely demanded that Obama release his full birth certificate to prove where he was born, and when Obama actually did, Trump questioned its authenticity.
After five years of doing this, Trump abruptly reversed course in September 2016, admitting that Obama was born in the United States and moving on as if nothing had happened.
In August 2020, Trump tried the same attacks on Harris. A Trump campaign spokesperson questioned Harris’ citizenship in an interview with ABC News, and later that day, Trump said that Harris possibly “doesn’t meet the requirements” to serve as vice president.
Harris was born in Oakland, California.
Trump also tried to claim that Cruz was disqualified from being president because he was born in Canada. During the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Trump repeatedly raised questions about Cruz’s qualifications. Cruz, whose mother was born in America and whose Cuban father was born in Canada, has long maintained that he qualifies as a natural-born citizen by virtue of being born abroad to a U.S. citizen.
Ironically, Trump may be the one who ends up disqualified from being president because he incited an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.