Elizabeth Warren released the results of a DNA test that shows she is a distant descendent from Native American heritage, to defend herself from a variety of unfair attacks.
Warren said she grew up with family stories about both grandparents on her mother’s side having some Cherokee or Delaware blood.
Warren set the record straight about her ethnic heritage after being falsely accused of using claims of Native American ancestry to take advantage of affirmative action hiring programs and in direct response to taunts from President Donald Trump.
Her detractors say she employed a Native American connection to improve her chances of getting teaching jobs at two of America’s top law schools. However, there is no proof Warren gained any special advantage in her career.
Warren did formally inform officials at the University of Pennsylvania and then Harvard claiming Native American heritage, but those notifications came after she was hired.
In July, Trump promised a million dollars to a charity of Warren’s choice if a DNA test “shows you’re an Indian.”
Warren’s DNA tests, conducted by a highly qualified geneticist, seem to prove she has a native ancestor between six and ten generations back.
Warren requested that Trump send the $1 million to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, but he is insisting that he did not make the wager despite video evidence that he did.
Warren’s effort to slap back at the president has ignited some criticism but one New Jersey Democrat is defending her action.
“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” said Chuck Hoskin, Jr., the Cherokee Nation secretary of state. Other native Americans have used th incident to question Warren’s silence during a fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota in 2016.
“Senator Warren says, and her DNA proves, that she has some Native American ancestry, but if she ever said, ‘I am a Native American,’ that would be untrue,” said Lisa McCormick, a progressive Democrat from New Jersey. “As far as I know, Senator Warren has never made any such excessive claims.
“I would like to know if it was Secretary Hoskin’s intention to defend President Trump’s bigotry and name-calling or whether he is simply putting words in the Senator’s mouth,” said McCormick.
Jim Messina, former President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, said Warren made a mistake by releasing her DNA test “22 days before a crucial election where we MUST win house and senate to save America” and asked, in sheer exasperation, “Why can’t Dems ever stay focused???”
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