Elizabeth Warren releases DNA analysis on Native American heritage

Win McNamee  Getty Images North America

Win McNamee Getty Images North America

Trump said in July that he would donate $1 million to a charity of Warren's choice if she could prove her claim that she had Native American heritage.

The analysis was done by Stanford Professor Carlos D. Bustamante, a former victor of the MacArthur genius grant for his work on DNA.

What happened: Warren, a Democrat from MA, sent her DNA anonymously to the Stanford University laboratory of Carlos Bustamente, a well-known specialist in genetic ancestry.

Bustamante said that the analyst working with the DNA sample didn't know it was Warren's when running the test. "What do the facts say?" she asks him. She'd be guilty not only of having exaggerated extremely remote Native American ancestry, she'd be guilty of covering it up.

The genealogy group has said it has no conclusive evidence of her ancestry, and a spokesman said Monday it would not comment on the genetic findings.

Warren first faced scrutiny for her purported Native American heritage during her 2012 Senate race. Should Warren's ancestor date back 10 generations, she would be only 1/512th Native American. Her opponent, Republican Chuck Brown, used the listing as evidence to argue that Warren had fudged her heritage in order to further her career.

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Warren's thorough counter-messaging signals a likely 2020 presidential run.

The moves seem to anticipate the type of criticism she might face against opponents in a Democratic primary or in a possible general election matchup against Trump. The kind of change Elizabeth Warren's progressivism advocates is the soft tyranny of a ubiquitous federal government that reaches out and nationalizes American businesses, but it's more fun to mock her claimed heritage.

Some Democrats were critical of the timing of Warren's announcement.

"But let's say I'm debating Pocahontas, I'll do this", he said at a campaign-style rally in Montana. "Why can't Dems ever stay focused?"

"This just reaffirms that she is trying to address an issue that would potentially hamper her for that presidential run", Diehl said in a Monday interview with the Globe.

While a faculty member at Harvard Law, Warren listed herself as a Native American in an academic directory between 1986 and 1995. Which is to say: Warren identified as Native American because that was how many people in the (profoundly racist) society of early 20th century Oklahoma identified her mother. She and Mr Trump clashed frequently through the 2016 presidential campaign and Trump has cast aspersions on her claim to Native-American ancestry.

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"Trump's grand promise to pay $1 million to charity in exchange for Senator Warren's DNA test fits the textbook definition of an "offer to enter into a unilateral contract", writes Elura Nanos".

"I have read the DNA test report closely, and think that the analysis described therein was conducted properly", said Theodore Schurr at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I didn't say that", he said. "That will not be something that I enjoy doing".

Ironically, while the president-to-be might have intended to mock Warren, the name he picked is somewhat fitting: the Powhatan girl known as Pocahontas was really named Matoaka; "Pocahontas" was a nickname that meant something akin to "little hellion".

Warren has long told the story of her parents eloping in spite of her father's family disapproving of her mother's Cherokee Indian heritage.

"A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship".

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