'Who Cares': Trump Reacts To Sen. Warren's DNA Test Showing She Has Native American Heritage

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U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., gestures during a town hall style gathering in Woburn, Mass. in August. (Charles Krupa/AP)
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., gestures during a town hall style gathering in Woburn, Mass. in August. (Charles Krupa/AP)

President Trump made clear he is unimpressed with the results of the DNA test Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released providing strong evidence she has Native American ancestry.

The president has repeatedly derided the Democrat's heritage claim, and he had previously challenged her to take a DNA test. On Monday, Warren released the results of her DNA test in a carefully orchestrated rollout that included a highly produced six-minute video.

In the video, she tells the story of her Oklahoma roots, explaining that she'd grown up with the understanding that her mother's family has Native American blood going back several generations.

The video shows Warren speaking with Carlos Bustamante, a noted Stanford University genomic scientist who conducted the DNA analysis.

"Now, the president likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?" she asks Bustamante.

"The facts suggest that you absolutely have a Native American ancestor in your pedigree," he replies.

Bustamante's analysis suggests Warren has a Native American ancestor in her family tree, on her mother's side, dating back "six to 10 generations." That would make her as much as 1/32 American Indian, or as little as 1/1,024 American Indian.

For years, Trump has mocked Warren's claim of Native American ancestry, frequently calling her "Pocahontas."

"Pocahontas! They always want me to apologize for saying it," he told a crowd at a rally this past summer in Montana.

Warren has called the president's taunts racist and demeaning to Native Americans — and to her parents.

"The family they built and the story they built will always be a part of me, and no one, not even the president of the United States, will take that away from me," she said in the video. "Not ever!"

At that Montana rally, Trump said if he had a chance to debate Warren, he'd challenge her to take a DNA test to prove it.

"And we will say, '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,' " he said.

Warren tweeted Monday that her DNA test proves she has nothing to hide — and fired a shot at the president with a call urging him to release his tax returns. She also told him to send $1 million  to a nonprofit that protects Native American women from violence.

Warren's Republican opponent, state Rep. Geoff Diehl, said the DNA test is the latest evidence Warren is no longer interested in being a senator.

"What she's doing now is just trying to make national news in a way that highlights the fact that she really wants to run for the presidency," he said Monday.

If Warren is planning to run for president, Diehl has said she should drop out of the Senate race.

For her part, Warren has said that after the November election, she'll take a "hard look" at a White House bid. But she's already done a lot to lay the groundwork for that. She has been raising  money and campaigning frequently across the country. She has even deployed her own staffers in early primary states.

Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic consultant, said Warren has also emerged as Trump's toughest antagonist — which puts her in a strong position if she does decide to run.

"Nobody gets under Donald Trump's skin more than Elizabeth Warren," Marsh said. "She's done it in the Senate. But now it looks like she's going to launch a national campaign, and she has the opportunity to show everyone how she would be the best person to take on Donald Trump."

The DNA test is part of that effort: an attempt to neutralize one line of attack.

Asked about Warren's DNA test Monday, Trump said, "Who cares?"

When pressed about his offer to give a million dollars to charity if Warren took the test and her claim checked out, the president said, "I didn't say that." But, in fact, he did.

This segment aired on October 15, 2018.


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Anthony Brooks Senior Political Reporter
Anthony Brooks is WBUR's senior political reporter.



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