Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) released DNA test results showing she could be anywhere between 1/64th to 1/1,024th Native American in an attempt to diffuse a controversy that has dogged her political career for years.
The aggressive move by the first-term lawmaker is yet another sign she will run in 2020 against President Donald Trump, who has derided her as "Pocahontas" for years, even at an event honoring Native American Code Talkers from World War II.
Warren listed herself as Native American while teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 1987 to 1995 and then at Harvard Law School beginning in 1995, the Boston Globe reports. Fact-checkers had not been able to verify her claims because they were based on "family lore."
She released to the Globe her DNA results analyzed by Stanford University Professor Carlos Bustamante, known for his work on tracking population migration via DNA analysis. His calculation: Her "pure Native American ancestor" appeared "in the range of 6-10 generations ago," which would track with her family lore that her great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was at least part-Native American.
However, if her ancestor goes 10 generations back, that would make her a scant 1/1,024th Native American. If it were six generations, she would be at most 1/64th Native American, although the Globe stated it would be 1/32nd.
The Globe reported Smith was born in the late 1700s and identified as white, although she may have done so to disguise her true identity and avoid racial discrimination.
Warren also released a YouTube video, featuring interviews of her, family members and students discussing her family background and career. It is spliced with clips of Trump and conservatives mocking her Native American ancestry claims, and it also shows her calling Bustamente to find out her DNA results.
"The president likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?" Warren asks.
"The facts suggest that you absolutely have Native American ancestry in your pedigree," Bustamente replies.
His report said "the vast majority" of Warren’s ancestry is European, but added "the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor."