President Trump on Tuesday revived his disparaging nickname for Elizabeth Warren after the Democratic senator and possible 2020 presidential contender released a DNA test that she said shows she has a Native American in her family tree.
Trump’s past use of the “Pocahontas” moniker has drawn wide condemnation from critics who charge that it’s offensive to Native Americans. But Trump repeatedly used the term Tuesday morning.
“Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren, is getting slammed,” the commander in chief tweeted. “She took a bogus DNA test and it showed that she may be 1/1024, far less than the average American. Now Cherokee Nation denies her, ‘DNA test is useless.’ Even they don’t want her. Phony!”
The president continued: “Now that her claims of being of Indian heritage have turned out to be a scam and a lie, Elizabeth Warren should apologize for perpetrating this fraud against the American Public. Harvard called her ‘a person of color’ (amazing con), and would not have taken her otherwise!”
He added: “Thank you to the Cherokee Nation for revealing that Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, is a complete and total Fraud!”
On Monday, Warren released the results of a test conducted by Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante, who concluded there is “strong evidence” that her DNA sample reveals a Native American in her family tree “six to 10 generations ago.” The generational range suggested Warren is between 1/64th and 1/1,024th percent Native American. Warren has said that according to family lore, her great-great-great-grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith was at least part Cherokee Indian.
In response, Cherokee Nation accused Warren of “undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”
“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. said in a statement.
During her Senate campaign in 2012, Warren was dogged by questions about listing herself as a minority in past professional directories. (Despite Trump’s tweet alleging otherwise, there is no evidence ethnicity helped Warren win jobs at prestigious law schools, the Boston Globe reported last month, though “there is evidence Harvard took advantage of it after she was hired.”)
Trump has continued those attacks as president. And at a July 5 rally in Montana, Trump challenged Warren to take a DNA test.
“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,” Trump said.
Warren seized on Trump’s charitable offer in a tweet Monday.
Asked about Warren’s test results by reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Monday morning, Trump was dismissive.
“Who cares?” the president said.
Trump also said he never pledged a million dollars to Warren’s charity of choice if she could prove she had Native American heritage.
“I didn’t say that,” the president said. “You better read it again.”
Later in the day, while touring the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael, Trump clarified his million-dollar pledge.
“I will only do it if I can test her personally,” the president said, adding: “That will not be something that I enjoy doing.”