Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is rising in the polls for the Democratic presidential nomination, claimed for decades that she had Native American ancestry.
Now, she’s told another story that is prompting scrutiny.
On Wednesday, during a town hall in Nevada, she told the crowd she lost her teaching job in the early 1970s because she was “visibly pregnant.”
“By the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant, and the principal did what principals did in those days — wish me luck and hire someone else for the job,” she told the crowd in Carson City.
Warren, 70, seemed to be implying that she was terminated simply because she was pregnant.
But a YouTube clip posted in January 2008 shows Warren giving a completely different reason for why she left that school.
Jeryl Bier, who pointed out her conflicting comments in a post on The Script Wednesday, notes that the interview was conducted in 2007 at the University of California Berkeley as part of a series called “Conversations with History.”
“My first year post-graduation, I worked — it was in a public school system but I worked with the children with disabilities. And I did that for a year, and then that summer I actually didn’t have the education courses, so I was on an ’emergency certificate,’ ” Warren told interviewer Harry Kreisler.
According to her Wikipedia page, Warren had to return to graduate school to take extra courses in education.
“I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out for me,'” she said.
Warren went on to say that “I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years, and I was really casting about, thinking, ‘What am I going to do?”’
She did not mention the school’s principal wishing her luck and hiring someone else.
Several commenters on YouTube have pointed out the discrepancy.
“I thought she said that after she was pregnant with her first born she was fired as a special needs teacher,” wrote one.
“Okay, so Elizabeth Warren’s story has been that she was let go from her teaching job because she got pregnant, but at around 6:30 she’s saying that she herself decided to stop teaching. Basically, she got caught lying again,” wrote another.
“Pocahontas at it again eh. the woman is a liar, plain and simple,” wrote a third.
“Pocahontas” is a nickname given to Warren by President Trump based on a more well-known Warren joke moniker, “Fauxcahontas” (referencing her apparently “faux” claim to Native ancestry). The “Pocahontas” line got under her skin, so shortly before she jumped into the presidential race, she decided to get a DNA test to prove her longtime claim that she is Native American.
It didn’t go well.
The test results showed she may have had a Native American ancestor — six to 10 generations ago, from somewhere on either the North or South American contient. That means she’s anywhere from 1/64 to 1/1,024 Native American. 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.
Warren was listed as Native American 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 have Native ancestry, thereby snagging a job that might have been reserved for a minority.
“Harvard Law School in the 1990s touted Warren, then a professor in Cambridge, as being Native American,’” CNN reported in November 2017. “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 a family cookbook called “Pow Wow Chow,” which was released in 1984 by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She signed her entries, which included a crab and tomato salad, “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee.”
This article has been revised to highlight Jeryl Bier’s role in initially reporting the story, include more details about the interview, and provide the video footage.