News & Politics

Trump Praises Cherokee Nation for Revealing Liz Warren as 'Complete and Total Fraud'

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump praised the Cherokee Nation for its remarks that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made a “mockery” out of DNA tests and tribal nations. According to Trump, the Native American tribe revealed Warren as a “complete and total fraud.”

“Thank you to the Cherokee Nation for revealing that Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, is a complete and total Fraud!” the president tweeted.

He noted that Warren, whom he referred to as “Pocahontas (the bad version),” 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!”

Trump called on Warren to apologize. “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,” he tweeted. “Harvard called her ‘a person of color’ (amazing con), and would not have taken her otherwise!”

While the Cherokee Nation did not call Warren a “complete and total Fraud,” its statement against the senator proved extremely scathing. “A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement. “Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America.”

“Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation,” Hoskin explained. The pride of individual Native American tribes matters a great deal to the Cherokee Nation, for good reasons.

But Hoskin did not just defend the pride of his tribe or Native American tribes in general. He also suggested that Warren’s DNA test belittled DNA tests in general.

“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 added. “It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

In a statement of her own responding to the Cherokee Nation, Warren argued that any Native American “heritage” played “no role in my hiring — ever.” (She did not address the fact that Harvard cited her as a minority woman professor or the fact that she identified herself as a Native American in an Association of American Law Schools teachers directory.)

Warren argued that she took a DNA test because she “won’t sit quietly for [Donald Trump]’s racism.” Defending the Cherokee Nation, however, she admitted, “But DNA & family history has nothing to do with tribal affiliation or citizenship, which is determined only – only – by Tribal Nations. I respect the distinction, & don’t list myself as Native in the Senate.”

Her tweet storm went on for 26 tweets personally attacking Trump.

Whatever Warren says, her DNA test did reveal that her Native American ancestry is comparable to that of any other white American whose ancestors came from Europe. According to a Harvard study, the average white person has 0.18 percent Native American ancestry. The average is even higher for European Americans born in Oklahoma — where Warren was born — at 0.2 percent.

This may not prove Warren is a “complete and total Fraud,” but any claims she made to special Native American heritage are complete bunk.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.