Trump speaking on Aug. 15. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told reporters Saturday his presidential campaign will "not be pursuing" a baseless claim that Sen. Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's running mate, may be ineligible to serve as vice president because both her parents were not naturalized citizens at her birth.

Why it matters: Harris was born in Oakland, California. She is an American citizen and is eligible for the office. Critics, including some Republicans, denounced an op-ed published by Newsweek this week as a new attempt at "birtherism" — the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not actually born in the U.S. — targeting the first woman of color on a presidential ticket.

“It’s not something that we will be pursuing” Trump said of Harris’ eligibility to serve as VP.

But, but, but: When pressed on Saturday, the president refused to say affirmatively that Harris is in fact eligible.

Driving the news: Newsweek on Friday apologized for article, saying it "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."

What he's saying: "I have nothing to do with that," Trump said of the op-ed. "I read something about it, and I will say he's a brilliant lawyer," referring to the author of the editorial. "...so, I know nothing about it, but it's not something that bothers me."

  • "It's not something we will be pursuing. Let me put it differently, to me, it doesn't bother me at all. I don't know about it. I read one quick article. The lawyer happens to be a brilliant lawyer."
  • "If she's got a problem, you'd have thought that she would have been vetted by Sleepy Joe," Trump added.

Go deeper

Harris on Woodward book: "I find it so outrageous"

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

During an in-person campaign stop in Florida, Sen. Kamala Harris addressed the reporting in Bob Woodward's book "Rage," in which he wrote that President Trump said he down-played the severity of the coronavirus in March.

Driving the news: Harris said Thursday that Trump is engaged "in reckless disregard of the lives and health and well being" of the American people, per a pool report from her roundtable at Florida Memorial University. "I find it so outrageous."

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 30,873,714 — Total deaths: 958,383— Total recoveries: 21,103,559Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,788,343 — Total deaths: 199,421 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.