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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."

6 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

6 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."