Capitol Alert

‘Obvious stunt’ or taking on ‘absurd policy:’ Internet explodes on Trump comment

Reactions were both widespread and visceral Tuesday morning, after Axios published an interview with President Donald Trump in which he said he would use an executive order to end birthright citizenship, despite the 14th Amendment protections in the U.S. Constitution.

The 14th Amendment reads, in part, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The president lacks the legal authority to undo a constitutional amendment by executive order, but Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina quickly took to Twitter to announce he would introduce legislation to back Trump’s order.

Several media pundits pointed out that Trump’s remark that the United States is the only country to offer birthright citizenship is false, including CNN’s Jake Tapper.

The Associated Press drew heat for tweeting Trump’s statement without challenging it; the news outlet later took the tweet down and tweeted a correction.

Still others in the media, such as Sam Stein of the Daily Beast, criticized news outlets for giving air time to “an obvious stunt.”

But many more on Twitter argued that Trump’s remarks should be taken seriously. The condemnation was bipartisan.

It included criticism from liberal writers such as Jamil Smith of Rolling Stone magazine and Karen Attiah of The Washington Post and conservatives such as Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash.

In California, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León and state Sen. Scott Wiener were among the Democrats condemning the proposal, while Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox told Allie Rasmus, reporter for KTVU, that “I would not use executive orders.”

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7934, @andrewsheeler