96°F
weather icon Clear

Sen. Warren releases DNA results, challenges Trump to pay up

Updated October 15, 2018 - 6:43 pm

WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., took President Donald Trump up on a bet by having her DNA tested to prove her Native American heritage, which Trump repeatedly has mocked by dubbing her “Pocahontas.”

On Twitter, Warren challenged Trump to donate $1 million to her favorite charity. “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.”

Warren, who is seen as a potential 2020 challenger to Trump, opened the day by releasing DNA test results that provide some evidence of a Native American in her lineage, though the ancestor probably lived six to 10 generations ago, according to the analysis.

Stanford genetics professor Carlos Bustamante found that the “vast majority” of Warren’s ancestry is European, according to a Boston Globe report.

Warren’s campaign released a video in which Warren hit Trump for liking to “call my mom a liar,” before she asked Bustamante over the phone about her DNA. Bustamante told her, “The facts suggest that you absolutely have Native American ancestry in your pedigree.”

“She wants to put this issue to rest,” said Democratic strategist Maria Cardona of the Dewey Square Group, which has advised Warren in the past. “We all know that she probably has plans to run for president (in 2020). This puts the issue to rest, and probably on her terms.”

When a reporter asked Trump about the “Native American ancestry” pledge Monday, the president responded, “I didn’t say that. You better read it again.”

In fact, Trump pledged to donate $1 million to a designated charity, “if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.”

Trump supporters responded that the Globe report found that with a 6th generation to 10th generation relative with Native American ancestry, Warren would be between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American.

Native American groups also cried foul. University of Alberta Native Studies professor Kim Tallbear hit Warren for claiming Cherokee ancestry while “refusing to meet with Cherokee National community leaders who challenge her claim.”

Tallbear also faulted Warren for holding up DNA testing as authoritative, even though tribal leaders reject DNA evidence in favor of cultural and direct family ties.

Later in the day, Trump belittled the low percentage of Native American DNA in Warren’s genes — and said that he would pay the money only if he could administer the test himself. Warren responded that Trump’s comment was “creepy.”

The Association of American Law Schools identified Warren as a minority law school teacher, from 1986, the first year it listed self-identified minorities, to 1994, according to a review last year by the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking organization PolitiFact. PolitiFact also found no evidence that Warren had used her claim to Cherokee or Delaware heritage to special advantage as she sought jobs teaching at the country’s top law schools.

In September, the Boston Globe ran a story that found law school decision makers did not hire Warren because she identified as Native American. In a Warren campaign video, Harvard Law School professor Randall Kennedy asserted, “Her name with regard to racial minority hiring? No, never.”

But the National Review dug up a 1997 Fordham Law Review article that hailed Warren as Harvard Law’s “first woman of color” on the faculty.

PolitiFact did challenge one tale in Warren’s tribal paper trail. The recipes Warren contributed to a 1984 book “Pow Wow Chow” included the dish, “Cold omelets with crab meat.” Crab with mayonnaise, PolitiFact noted, is hardly traditional fare. Also, some of her recipes appear to have been copies from the New York Times wire service.

Massachusetts radio talk show host Howie Carr, a frequent Warren critic, tweeted a photo of himself reading the five-tribe cookbook and mused, “Hmm. I wonder what we’ll be talking about on today’s show.”

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
THE LATEST
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris set for Democratic debate rematch

The second set of summer Democratic presidential debates will feature a rematch with a twist, plus the first showdown of leading progressives as the party wrestles with its philosophical identity and looks ahead to a 2020 fight against President Donald Trump.

US wasted no time getting El Chapo to supermax prison

A lawyer says authorities have wasted no time in sending the convicted Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo to an ultra-high-security prison where he will serve a life sentence.

House-approved $15 minimum wage has little chance in Senate

House Democrats approved legislation Thursday to raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, to $15 an hour, but the bill has almost no chance in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Negotiators agree on core elements of $1.3T budget deal, says Mnuchin

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that budget and debt negotiators have reached an agreement on the core elements of a deal to increase the government’s borrowing cap and set a $1.3 trillion overall level for the agency budgets that Congress passes each year.

Trump slams 4 congresswomen; crowd chants, ‘Send her back!’

Going after four Democratic congresswomen one by one, a combative President Donald Trump turned his campaign rally into an extended dissection of the liberal views of the women of color, deriding them for what he painted as extreme positions and suggesting they just get out.