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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

Updated Nov 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Key takeaways from Obama's "60 Minutes" interview

A screenshot from former President Obama's "60 Minutes" interview

Former President Obama told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday there's been a "truth decay" in American politics and it's "been accelerated by outgoing President Trump."

Driving the news: Obama made the comments in response to CBS' Scott Pelley's question on what he meant in his upcoming book that "our democracy seems to be teetering on the brink of a crisis." Obama said he meant in "the sense that not only do we not have to tell the truth, but the truth doesn't even matter."

Airlines call for Biden admin's "immediate intervention" in 5G deployment

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The CEOs of leading U.S. air cargo and passenger carriers on Monday warned the Biden administration there could be "catastrophic disruption" after AT&T and Verizon deploy a new 5G service this week.

Driving the news: They said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top federal officials ahead of the C-Band 5G service's deployment Wednesday that "the nation's commerce will grind to a halt" and "could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas."

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.