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'Send the check,' Sen. Elizabeth Warren tells Trump

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released the results of a DNA analysis that she says indicates she has some Native American heritage, a direct rebuttal to U.S. President Donald Trump, who has long mocked her ancestral claims and repeatedly referred to her as "Pocahontas."

President pledged to give $1M to charity if Warren could prove she is 'an Indian'

A DNA analysis done on U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren provides strong evidence she has Native American heritage. (Charles Krupa/The Associated Press)

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released the results of a DNA analysis that she says indicates she has some Native American heritage, a direct rebuttal to U.S. President Donald Trump, who has long mocked her ancestral claims and repeatedly referred to her as "Pocahontas."

The Massachusetts Democrat and potential 2020 presidential contender challenged Trump to make good on his pledge to donate $1 million US to charity if she provided proof of Native American heritage, a moment that was caught on video. Trump falsely denied ever making the offer.

The analysis was done by Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante, a prominent expert in the field. He concluded that the great majority of Warren's ancestry is European, but added that the results "strongly support" the existence of a Native American ancestor.

In his report, Bustamante said he analyzed Warren's sample without knowing the identity of the donor. He concluded that Warren's pure Native American ancestor likely lived six to 10 generations ago, and that it was impossible to determine the individual's tribal connection.

Great-great-great grandmother

If Warren's Native American ancestry were six generations removed, it could mesh with an 1894 document the New England Genealogical Society previously unearthed suggesting Warren's great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was at least partially Native American.

The Boston Globe, which first reported the results of the DNA analysis, noted that if Warren's ancestor were between six and 10 generations removed, she would be only 1/64th to 1/1,024th Native American.

Such a finding could potentially further excite her critics instead of placating them.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said DNA tests are useless to determine tribal citizenship and don't distinguish whether a person's ancestors were indigenous to North or South America.

"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong," he said Monday. "Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage."

Warren on Monday also released a video produced by her Senate re-election campaign. In it, she said: "The president likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?"

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

The senator released personnel files earlier this year seeking to dispute critics who have charged that the former Harvard Law School professor advanced her law career with a narrative she is a descendant of Cherokee and Delaware tribes.

Warren has denied using her Native American heritage to gain any advantage.

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."

Trump denies million-dollar pledge

In a tweet directed at Trump, Warren said: "Remember saying on [July 5] that you'd give $1M US to a charity of my choice if my DNA showed Native American ancestry?" She went on to request that the president send a cheque to the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center.

At a summer rally in Montana, the president declared that he would give a million dollars to charity, "paid for by Trump," if Warren takes the test "and it shows you're an Indian."

But when asked by reporters Monday, Trump said, "I didn't say that."

Hear Trump make his promise to Warren on July 5, 2018 in Great Falls, Mont.:

U.S. President Donald Trump pledges at a July rally that if Sen. Elizabeth Warren does a DNA test which proves she has Native American blood, he'll give $1 million to charity 0:24

Hours later, when asked about the donation during an appearance in Georgia, Trump said he would "only do it if I can test her personally." He added, "That will not be something I enjoy doing, either."

Warren responded with a series of tweets, suggesting that Trump's comments are "creepy physical threats," the kind he makes toward women who scare him. Warren tweeted Trump is a "cowardly elitist" and she "won't sit quietly for Trump's racism" so she took the test.

In an interview with The Associated Press in 2012, Warren said it was "family lore" that had convinced her of Native American ancestry. She said her mother and father were forced to elope because of her mother's heritage.

Warren faces Republican Geoff Diehl, who co-chaired Trump's Massachusetts presidential campaign, in the Nov. 6 election.

Diehl said it's up to voters to decide what they think of Warren's DNA analysis.

"We've never made it an issue with this campaign. I think the fact is it's an issue that's been attached to her since 2012," he said.

Clarifications

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly cited the Boston Globe report's findings, saying Warren would be as much as 1/32nd Native American if her great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was at least partially Native American. In fact, that would only be the case were Smith fully Native American.
    Oct 15, 2018 7:22 PM ET