Warren DNA Analysis Points To Native American Heritage

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Responding to years of derision by President Trump and other critics, Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a DNA analysis done that provides strong evidence she does, in fact, have Native American heritage.

The analysis on the Massachusetts Democrat was done by Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante, The Boston Globe reported Monday. He concluded Warren's ancestry is mostly European but says "the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor."

Bustamante, a prominent expert in the field of DNA analysis, determined Warren's pure Native American ancestor appears "in the range of six to 10 generations ago."

That meshes with Warren's narrative that her great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was at least partially Native American. That would make Warren 1/32nd Native American.

But if her ancestor is 10 generations back, that could mean she's just 1/1,024th Native American, something that could further excite her critics instead of placating them.

Those critics have charged that Warren advanced her career with a narrative she is a descendant of Cherokee and Delaware tribes, although Warren has released personnel files to support her insistence that ethnicity was never a factor.

Trump has repeatedly mocked his potential 2020 presidential election challenger as "Pocahontas," going so far as to offer $1 million to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test that proved her claims.

Warren tweeted on Monday about Trump's offer, saying she had chosen a charity.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Trump says he never made such a claim, telling reporters on Monday, "I didn't say that. You better read it again."

Warren is seeking re-election to a second term in Massachusetts and is a potential 2020 presidential contender. Her Senate campaign produced a video in which Warren says: "The president likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?"

Bustamante replies: "The facts suggest that you absolutely have Native American ancestry in your pedigree."

In an email Monday to supporters, Warren said she "never expected the President of the United States to use my family's story as a racist political joke against Native American history, culture, and people - over, and over, and over."

Correction: According to the Boston Globe, a math error misstated the ancestry of a potential 10th generation relative. The post has been updated. We regret the error.

This article was originally published on October 15, 2018.



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