Rep. Michele Bachmann tried to downplay her dual U.S.-Swiss citizenship Wednesday, releasing a statement that asserts she has actually been a dual citizen since 1978.
“I automatically became a dual citizen of the United States and Switzerland in 1978 when I married my husband, Marcus. Marcus is a dual American and Swiss citizen because he is the son of Swiss immigrants. As a family, we just recently updated our documents,” the Minnesota Republican and former presidential candidate said in a statement. “This is a non-story.”
According to her version of events, Bachmann has known she was a Swiss citizen for approximately 34 years. However, she never disclosed her citizenship while running for Congress and president of the United States.
Her office said that such a disclosure was not necessary.
“It wasn’t necessary to disclose, because she is an American citizen and always has been. She has a United States birth certificate and a United States passport,” Bachmann spokesperson Becky Rogness told POLITICO on Wedneday evening.
Her statement that she has been a citizen since 1978 is based off a technicality – at the time of her marriage, automatic citizenship was granted to those who married Swiss citizens. However, Marcus Bachmann, her husband, did not register their marriage with Swiss authorities until this year – meaning that the Swiss government was not aware of it until recently.
Bachmann’s broad conception of citizenship aside, she stressed in her statement that she has “always pledged allegiance” to the United States.
“I am proud of my husband, Marcus, the love of my life, and his Swiss heritage. Even though I have been a dual citizen since I was married in 1978, I have never exercised any rights of that citizenship. Rather, I have always pledged allegiance to our one nation under God, the United States of America. We live in the greatest nation humankind has ever known and I am proud to be an American,” Bachmann said.
POLITICO reported Tuesday that Michele Bachmann and her three youngest children became Swiss citizens on March 19.
Read more at POLITICO.