On Thursday, President Trump held a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio. During his speech, the president not only criticized Democratic leadership in the “inner cities,” he also went after one of his potential Democratic presidential challengers in Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):
…a man who really has done a fantastic job. He campaigned so hard, and this was a star right from the fields of the great Pocahontas, who’s now lying and cheating her way to the presidency if possible. She’s trying to win. Remember? She defrauded people with her credentials. She said she was Indian, and I said that I have more Indian blood than she does – and I have none. I’m sorry – and we drove her crazy, and we drove her crazy. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. And she went out and she had a blood test done, and it came out 1,024. He says, “Somewhere back there, hundreds of years ago, there may have been an Indian, or it may have been a statistical error,” [because] it was so small, which it was.
[The president’s claim that Warren’s alleged Native American ancestry was 1/1024 isn’t necessarily a reliable one. In a lengthy piece on FactCheck.org, Jessica McDonald writes: “[the] Bustamante report never specifies a fraction or percentage, so these estimates are derived from a back calculation from the six to 10 generation estimate.”]
The “Native American heritage” issue has haunted Sen. Warren since her first run for United States Senate in 2012.
The Washington Post obtained a card for the State Bar of Texas from 1986, allegedly filled out by Warren herself, on which her ethnicity was listed as “American Indian.”
The outlet adds that from 1986 to 1995, Warren listed herself as a “minority” in the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) directory. Additionally, from 1995 to 2004, Harvard Law School reportedly listed Warren as Native American on forms relating to affirmative action.
The Harvard Crimson referenced then-Harvard Law School spokesman Mike Chmura when it included the following passage in a 1996 article:
Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, Chmura said Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren is Native American.
“Warren also had her ethnicity changed from white to Native American in December 1989 while working at the University of Pennsylvania,” reports The Washington Post.
In October 2018, Warren released the results of a DNA test overseen by Carlos Bustamante of Stanford University. Bustamante came to the conclusion that Warren likely had a Native American ancestor between six to ten generations back:
While the vast majority of the individual’s ancestry is European, the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in the individual’s pedigree, likely in the range of 6-10 generations ago.
The test, as well as the spectacle surrounding its release, upset some in the Native American community.
Chuck Hoskin, Jr., the Secretary of State for the Cherokee Nation, condemned Warren, stating:
Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation, or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. … It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well-documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.
In February, the senator said: “Family stories are not the same as tribal citizenship, and this is why I have apologized, both to Chief Baker, who was very gracious about it, and have apologized publicly.”