Since her first race for Senate in 2012, Republicans have attacked Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) over her Native American heritage. After Warren said publicly that her family told her she was of Cherokee decent and she was identified by previous employers as such — though a Boston Globe investigation last month found it played no role in her professional success — Trump belittled her as “Pocahontas.” On Monday, Warren released DNA evidence that her family was right — but the Trump administration quickly rejected the science.
In 2012, newspapers reported on Warren’s previous claims of Native American heritage. Some Cherokee activists criticized Warren, saying that “claiming to be Cherokee without proof is harmful and offensive to us.” Meanwhile, then-Republican Sen. Scott Brown (then of Massachusetts, later of New Hampshire, and now Donald Trump’s ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa) ran an ad attacking the claim and later demanded Warren take a DNA test. She defeated him 53 percent to 46 as Bay State voters largely shrugged off the controversy.
But after Warren emerged as a prominent critic of Donald Trump, he revived the issue. He attacked Warren at political rallies and slurred her as “Pocahontas” at least 26 times between 2014 and 2017. He even went on a diatribe against her at a November 2017 White House event honoring Navajo code-breakers.
This July, Trump again returned to the attack, offering a $1 million personal donation to Warren’s favorite charity if she took a DNA test and it confirmed her Cherokee ancestry. “I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian [sic],” he announced.
Kellyanne Conway responds to Warren's DNA test: "I haven't looked at the test. I know that everybody likes to pick their junk science or sound science depending on the conclusion it seems some days. But I haven't looked at the DNA test and it really doesn't interest me…"
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) October 15, 2018
“I haven’t looked at the DNA test,” Conway claimed, “and it really doesn’t interest me.”
Warren sent Trump a tweet reminding him of his $1 million promise and requesting that he make the donation to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.
By the way, @realDonaldTrump: Remember saying on 7/5 that you’d give $1M to a charity of my choice if my DNA showed Native American ancestry? I remember – and here's the verdict. Please send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center: https://t.co/I6YQ9hf7Tv pic.twitter.com/J4gBamaeeo
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 15, 2018
Trump, known for his miserly and dishonest charitable giving history, simply pretended he never made the promise. “I didn’t say that,” he told reporters.
The charity should probably not hold its breath for the $1 million. But at the very least, Warren has debunked yet another one of Trump’s thousands of false claims.