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Sen. Kamala Harris. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Newsweek in an editor's note on Friday night apologized for an op-ed published earlier this week that inaccurately claimed California-born Sen. Kamala Harris may be ineligible for the vice presidency because both her parents were not naturalized citizens at her birth.

Why it matters: The op-ed written by John Eastman, a law professor at Chapman University, drew immediate backlash, including from Republicans, who denounced the piece as a fresh attempt at "birtherism" — the racist conspiracy theory circa 2008 that accused President Obama of not being born in the U.S.

  • An earlier editor's note defended the op-ed as having "no connection whatsoever to so-called 'birther-ism.'"

What they're saying: The latest editor's note states: "The op-ed was never intended to spark or to take part in the racist lie of Birtherism, the conspiracy theory aimed at delegitimizing Barack Obama, but we should have recognized the potential, even probability, that that could happen."

  • "Readers hold us accountable for all that we publish, as they should; we hold ourselves accountable, too. We entirely failed to anticipate the ways in which the essay would be interpreted, distorted and weaponized."
  • "This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize. The essay, by John Eastman, was intended to explore a minority legal argument about the definition of who is a 'natural-born citizen' in the United States," the note reads.
  • "But to many readers, the essay inevitably conveyed the ugly message that Senator Kamala Harris, a woman of color and the child of immigrants, was somehow not truly American."

Where it stands: Newsweek says it will not unpublish the op-ed because the outlet believes in "being transparent and are therefore allowing it to remain online, with this note attached."

Go deeper

"You lied to us": CNN anchor confronts "anonymous" author for previous denial

Former Homeland Security official Miles Taylor on Wednesday defended his August denial that he authored an anonymous New York Times editorial that described a "resistance" within the Trump administration — an article he now claims to have written.

The state of play: Taylor said Wednesday he refuted having written the op-ed because he wanted President Trump to challenge the claims in his book "on their merits," rather than launching personal attacks on him.

Philanthropy Deep Dive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A look at how philanthropy is evolving (and why Dolly Parton deserves a Medal of Freedom).

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.