In a July rally in Montana, President Donald Trump challenged Senator Elizabeth Warren to take a DNA test to prove she had a Native American ancestor. Warren stated several times that her mother told her there was an unnamed, unidentified Native ancestor in their family.
Warren made no claim of formal tribal or cultural affiliation except to say her mother thought perhaps the ancestor was Cherokee, but—like many in the United States and Canada—she embraced the family lore of an unidentified Native in the family tree. Seizing on any opportunity to mock or discredit his critics, Trump dubbed Warren Pocahontas and repeatedly mocked her claim.
In an effort to discredit someone he sees as a potential opponent in the 2020 presidential election, President Trump seized on a Harvard made reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren having a Native American ancestor. Then in July he made a statement about someday challenging Warren to take a DNA test and—if she had a Native ancestor—paying $1 million to a charity of her choice.
On Monday, Warren released the results of her testing and told Trump to pay up and shut up.
By the way, @realDonaldTrump: Remember saying on 7/5 that you’d give $1M to a charity of my choice if my DNA showed… https://t.co/iaYj2J3OUm— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1539608627.0
But when asked about his challenge and her results, Trump initially said "Who cares" and denied his comment about donating to charity. Then on Tuesday morning, Trump took to his favorite form of communication—Twitter—to again use Pocahontas as a racial slur.
Native leaders asked him to stop using the name of a real person as a racial slur every time he uses it.
The President posted:
"Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren, is getting slammed. 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!"
Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren, is getting slammed. She took a bogus DNA t… https://t.co/E50urWurZd— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1539691591.0
In a series of tweets, the genealogist laid out the facts for Trump and his supporters repeating his lie on Twitter.
I know this is shocking, but this is not true. The amateur geneticists of the right seized on the wrong fraction.… https://t.co/XC6vn5GvDN— Jennifer Mendelsohn 🇺🇸 (@Jennifer Mendelsohn 🇺🇸) 1539691947.0
The 1/1024 was the lowball estimate of which ancestor in her tree may have been Native American. But you inherit r… https://t.co/JKAqKmFmmQ— Jennifer Mendelsohn 🇺🇸 (@Jennifer Mendelsohn 🇺🇸) 1539692141.0
Your genealogical tree, the one made up of *all* your ancestors, is not the same as your genetic tree, the one made… https://t.co/OH2KswAlvy— Jennifer Mendelsohn 🇺🇸 (@Jennifer Mendelsohn 🇺🇸) 1539692362.0
Here's what the *actual* report, from the Stanford population geneticist who's a Macarthur Genius grant winner said… https://t.co/ARiRisMa4c— Jennifer Mendelsohn 🇺🇸 (@Jennifer Mendelsohn 🇺🇸) 1539694001.0
The feedback on Trump's own post was less than supportive of his latest attempt to mock Warren.
People brought up suggestions regarding Trump's own DNA and how he chooses to use his time.
@realDonaldTrump Your DNA is 90% tangerine.— Bookworm Jim (@Bookworm Jim) 1539691632.0
@goodoldcatchy @realDonaldTrump Your DNA test proves that you’re 100% jack ass Trump— Bishop Talbert Swan (@Bishop Talbert Swan) 1539691668.0
@goodoldcatchy @realDonaldTrump Ladies and gentlemen the POTUS has nothing better to do at 8 AM then use racial slu… https://t.co/9uzkQ8bdus— Bishop Talbert Swan (@Bishop Talbert Swan) 1539691709.0
@realDonaldTrump Hear your DNA results came back as 100% asshole.— citizen (@citizen) 1539699147.0
Others brought up that Trump issued the repeated challenges to Warren's claim. Warren was not the one declaring her ethnic or racial identity.
@realDonaldTrump She took a DNA test to prove her statements and her integrity. You should take a polygraph test to… https://t.co/C36hG6IpRo— 🏳️🌈Bestiuță🏳️🌈 (Robert) (@🏳️🌈Bestiuță🏳️🌈 (Robert)) 1539696585.0
@thomasorcutt9 @lilbeastpdx @realDonaldTrump And that's what she said. It's not like she said she's full on Native… https://t.co/5P6yLxNAYq— Kyle Fett (@Kyle Fett) 1539701321.0
@realDonaldTrump Stop calling her Pocahontas! Stop spreading hate and racism. All you have done as president is bul… https://t.co/LHLhg3qS57— Sophia Baker🆘 (@Sophia Baker🆘) 1539699083.0
@realDonaldTrump The range was 1/64th to 1/1024th cherry picker.... the #CherokeeNation relies on rolls dating from… https://t.co/pF5lw9teZ9— Geo Steve (@Geo Steve) 1539699950.0
Warren made no claim of tribal affiliation with the Cherokee Nation. Their response aligns with her own, that there is no basis for her to claim Cherokee affiliation or for them to grant her tribal status.
While numerous reputable sources confirmed Warren in no way benefited from her claim of an unnamed Native American in her family tree, Trump and his followers persist with the lie that Warren took benefits in schooling and employment due to her claim.
@Nuk3dawg @elizabethforma @realDonaldTrump I googled for you. She did not gain from claiming her heritage. And so i… https://t.co/7XXerJe121— Paul Boudreau (@Paul Boudreau) 1539609944.0
One person offered their own $1 million challenge to the President.
@realDonaldTrump I will give you $1 million if you can send one entirely accurate tweet.— David Schaefer (@David Schaefer) 1539700142.0
It appears unlikely any money will be changing hands. Warren offered her own rebuttal in a series of tweets to explain her side of the story.
I get it: @realDonaldTrump is afraid of facts. But I’m not. And the facts are clear. A deep, independent investigat… https://t.co/uzDRWwAXzh— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1539599786.0
I never expected my family’s story to be used as a racist political joke, but I don’t take any fight lying down. I… https://t.co/H5wMEvYl5f— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1539599861.0
Warren is up for reelection this year and faces two challengers, Republican Geoff Diehl and independent Shiva Ayyadurai.
Midterm elections are slated for Tuesday, November 6, 2018.