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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to guests during an organizing event at the Orpheum Theater on January 5, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

All out there

Elizabeth Warren on what her controversial ancestry test set out to prove

By WITW Staff on January 7, 2019

Days after she announced that she was launching an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential bid, Elizabeth Warren hit the campaign trail in Iowa. While addressing a crowd in Sioux City, Warren fielded a question connected to an issue that has dogged her since Donald Trump’s rise to power.

“Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald more fodder to be a bully?” one attendee asked, according to the Washington Post.

“I’m glad you asked that question,” Warren responded. “I genuinely am. I’m glad for us to have a chance to talk about it.”

Trump has long attacked Warren over her claims that she hails from Native American ancestry, repeatedly mocking by referring to her as “Pocahontas.” Last October, in an early sign that she was seriously considering a presidential run, Warren released a video in which she revealed the results of a DNA test showing that she had some Native American heritage. The genetic analysis was done by Stanford University professor Carlos D. Bustamante, who concluded that the majority of Warren’s DNA comes from Europe, but the that “the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor.”

The video did not stop Trump from continuing to mock Warren, and even the president’s critics argued that releasing the DNA results had been a misstep, a sign that Warren had caved to his antics. But in Iowa, the Massachusetts senator revealed why she wanted to bring some clarity to the discussion about her ancestry.

“I am not a person of color; I am not a citizen of a tribe,” she responded to an attendee at Sioux City’s Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, according to the Post. “Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes, and only tribes, determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference. I grew up in Oklahoma, and like a lot of folks in Oklahoma, we heard stories about our ancestry. When I first ran for public office, Republicans homed in on this part of my history, and thought they could make a lot of hay out of it. A lot of racial slurs, and a lot of ugly stuff. And so my decision was: I’m just gonna put it all out there. Took a while, but just put it all out there.”

Read more at the Washington Post.


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