CNN’s Chris Cuomo truly disrespected the profession of journalism when he helped to spread the lie that California Sen. Kamala Harris was not an American citizen — even though she was born in this country. An alt-right conspiracy theorist (who we will not name or link to) took a page out of Donald Trump’s racist book and tweeted that Harris was ineligible to run for the highest office in the country “because her father, a Jamaican immigrant, and her mother, an Indian immigrant, were not legal residents for five years before her birth.”
Cuomo responded in part with a now-deleted tweet that read, ”And hopefully there will be no games where the issue keeps changing for righty accusers…and…the legit info abt Harris comes out to deal with the allegation ASAP. The longer there is no proof either way, the deeper the effect.”
She was born in Oakland, California — what further “proof” is needed?
Cuomo is now apologizing.
“You don’t get to disparage people this way because of their race, because you don’t like what they represent. And what I’m saying is before we go through this again, if you have an accusation, put up or shut up. Kamala Harris shouldn’t have to go through this,” the broadcast journalist told the ladies of “The View” this week. “That was my point. I made it poorly.”
He also wrote on Twitter, “The tweet was meant to put onus on accuser. Not Harris. That is the lesson of birtherism. Deleting original tweet to make this clear. Apologies.”
He also wrote, “Deleted my original tweet because it was taken literally the opposite way that I intended it. Sen Harris has no duty to justify any such accusation, let alone a birtherism attack. You accuse, you prove. That was my point. Apologize for confusion.”
In case you missed it, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Harris announced she was running for president.
“The thing about Dr. King that always inspires me is that he was aspirational. He was aspirational like our country is aspirational,” she said on “Good Morning America” about the timing of her announcement. “We know that we’ve not yet reached those ideals. But our strength is that we fight to reach those ideals. So today, the day we celebrate Dr. King, is a very special day for all of us as Americans and I’m honored to be able to make my announcement on the day we commemorate him.”
While many people are excited about Harris’ run, there are questions about her rough history as it relates to criminal justice. As attorney general of San Francisco, she was a major advocate of laws that charged parents a fee for their children being truant and locking up one or both parents if they couldn’t pay.
“A close examination of Harris’s record shows it’s filled with contradictions,” Vox reported Wednesday. “She pushed for programs that helped people find jobs instead of putting them in prison, but also fought to keep people in prison even after they were proved innocent. She refused to pursue the death penalty against a man who killed a police officer, but also defended California’s death penalty system in court. She implemented training programs to address police officers’ racial biases, but also resisted calls to get her office to investigate certain police shootings.”