For many Democrats who had been looking to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as their best possible candidate for defeating President Trump in 2020, Monday was an embarrassing day after she chose to release the results of her DNA test to prove her long-claimed Native American ancestry.
Warren has long promoted her supposed Native American heritage, talking about her connection to the Cherokee people and sharing how her mom was discriminated against for being part Cherokee. Her opponents, on the other hand, have long accused the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Oklahoman of making something out of nothing in order to make herself appear to be a minority who could understand and appeal to minority voters.
But when she released the results this week, they showed “strong evidence” that she has Native American ancestry 6 to 10 generations back. In other words, she’s only 1/64th to 1/1024th Native American.
The ridicule leveled at her was widespread, and not just among her Republican critics. Many Democrats were furious that she chose to release such a self-defeating “October surprise” right before a crucial midterm election.
But things got even worse for Warren when, later in the day on Monday, the Cherokee Nation officially responded, condemning her use of a DNA test to prove Native American ancestry and laying no claim to her as one of their own.
“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. wrote. “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 were her continued claims of tribal heritage,” he added.
Now Warren is trying to save face.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, she defended the timing of her release by saying she has an election coming up soon and wanted to respond to the frequent attacks on her by Trump and her other political opponents.
Asked by the Globe if it was a mistake for her to identify herself as a Native American professor, she replied, “There’s a distinction between citizenship and ancestry. I wish I had been more mindful of that distinction. The tribes and only the tribes determine citizenship. It’s their right as a matter of sovereignty, and they exercise that in the ways they choose to exercise it. I respect that distinction.”
In other words, she’s trying to make nice with the Native Americans who rejected her but is still insisting that her dubious 1/64th to 1/1024th Native American ancestry is worth mentioning.
“The distinction is: I’m not a citizen, never have claimed to be, and I wish I had been more mindful of that 30 years ago,” Warren she continued. “I wish I had been clearer about that — been more mindful, is the word.”
The Globe noted that Warren also claimed her cousins are tribal citizens.
The left-leaning newspaper did little to promote Warren’s new explanation, posting it on their Twitter page only once in a 24-hour span. They chose instead to repeatedly post an editorial column about how bad Warren’s move is for the Democratic Party.
Warren’s attempts to save face wasn’t going well with social media commenters: