Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a liar. She’s long been a liar, but on Monday she decided to release proof that she’s a liar, in the form of DNA test results.
The Massachusetts Democrat has claimed for decades that she is part American Indian, that her mother has Indian ancestry. The way she tells the tale, the lineage was so recent that her father’s parents told him “you can’t marry [Warren’s mother] because she’s part Cherokee and she’s part Delaware.” They had to flee to be free from the racism they would suffer.
President Trump enjoys taunting Warren with the nickname “Pocahontas,” and it’s clearly gotten under her skin. So with her 2020 ambitions coming into view, Warren decided to get a DNA test to prove her longtime claim.
Oof. That did not go well.
The test results showed she may have had an American Indian ancestor — six to 10 generations ago. That means she’s anywhere from 1/64 to 1/1,024 American Indian. To put those terms into percentages, that means she’s between 1.562 percent and .0924 percent. So that means she’s anywhere from 98.437 percent to 99.9 percent white.
Now, you might think that someone who is 99.9 percent — or even 98.4 percent — white is, hmm, white, right? Wrong. Fool! You’re clearly not in the mainstream media.
After the DNA results were released, CNN posted a story headlined, “Elizabeth Warren releases DNA test with ‘strong evidence’ of Native American ancestry.” The Daily Beast’s headline called it a big win with a story headlined, “Elizabeth Warren Fights Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ Taunt With DNA Test Proving Native-American Roots.”
So, yes, we’ve entered “The Twilight Zone,” folks, where you can call yourself part American Indian when you’re 99.9 percent white. This is a repeat of Rachel Dolezal, the former civil rights activist made infamous for claiming to be black while actually being of white European ancestry, with no known black or African ancestry.
Dolezal explained that all away by simply saying that she “identifies” as black. And that just what Warren did for years: Identified herself as an American Indian.
Warren listed herself as Native in the Association of American Law School Directory, and according to The Boston Globe, she “had her ethnicity changed from white to Native American at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she taught from 1987 to 1995, and at Harvard University Law School, where she was a tenured faculty member starting in 1995.”
Some critics say she got the Harvard slot by claiming to be American Indian. “Harvard Law School in the 1990s touted Warren, then a professor in Cambridge, as being Native American,’” CNN reported last November. “They singled her out, Warren later acknowledged, because she had listed herself as a minority in an Association of American Law Schools directory.”
A 1997 Fordham Law Review article identified the Democrat as Harvard Law’s “first woman of color.” Warren even submitted recipes to an American Indian cookbook called “Pow Wow Chow,” which was released in 1984 by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She signed her entries “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee.”
But none of it was true — and the mainstream media has known for some time. In 2016, The Washington Post wrote that “we found that Warren’s relying on family lore rather than official documentation to make an ethnic claim raised serious concerns about Warren’s judgment.”
Trump delighted in the news. “Now that her claims of being of Indian heritage have turned out to be a scam and a lie, Elizabeth Warren should apologize for perpetrating this fraud against the American Public. Harvard called her ‘a person of color’ (amazing con), and would not have taken her otherwise!” he tweeted.
And therein lies the underlying problem: Warren “identified” as an American Indian for years, simply because it was a means to an end. She used her claim of American Indian heritage for professional and personal gain. She lied about that supposed heritage, and when she got caught, she doubled down, claiming that 1/10th of 1 percent Indian blood makes her an Indian.
Her newest claim that she’s an American Indian exposes Warren as a fraud — a liar. Americans don’t like liars. While she was attempting to put this credibility problem away long before she runs for president, she’s made it all much, much worse. If she’ll lie about something so meaningless, how can anyone trust her on issues that really matter?
One thing is for sure: If Warren wins the Democratic nomination, Trump will be calling her “Pocahontas” right up to Election Day 2020.
Although he might simply start calling her what she really is: Liar.
* A version of this article previously ran in The Washington Times.