Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s heavily promoted DNA test showing she likely has some Native-American ancestry ended up handing more fodder to Republican critics, who pointed out the test results indicate she could actually have less Native-American heritage than the average European American.
Meanwhile, President Trump on Monday afternoon added new conditions to his earlier offer to donate $1 million to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test as part of a debate challenge. "I'll only do it if I can test her personally," the president told reporters while touring Hurricane Michael damage along the Gulf Coast. "That will not be something I will enjoy doing either."
Warren, D-Mass., took the rare step Monday of sharing DNA test results examining her long-challenged Native-American bloodline. According to the analysis, as first reported by The Boston Globe, “the vast majority” of Warren’s family tree is European and there is “strong evidence” she has Native-American ancestry “in the range of 6-10 generations ago.”
As reported by the Globe, this means she could be between 1/64 and 1/1,024 Native American (though the newspaper initially published an erroneous figure and had to correct it).
Republicans countered, though, that having such a trace amount of Native-American heritage should not give Warren “the right to claim minority status” -- as she was accused of doing to advance her career at Harvard years ago.
“Warren might even be less Native American than the average European American,” Republican National Committee spokesman Mike Reed said in a statement Monday. He also cited a 2014 study that puts Warren's claims in perspective.
The study, published by a team of scientists in late 2014 and featured in The New York Times, amounted to the largest-ever genetic profile of the U.S., based on 160,000 people. The study examined the average Native-American ancestry for Americans—including European, African and Latino Americans.
According to the Times report on the study, which can be found on the National Institutes of Health website, “European-Americans had genomes that were on average 98.6 percent European, .19 percent African, and .18 percent Native American.”
For Latino Americans, the average percentage of Native-American ancestry was 18 percent; while African Americans’ average was .8 percent.
If Warren is 10 generations removed from a Native-American ancestor, she would be no more Native American -- .09 percent -- than any of the groups studied in that research. If she's 1/64 Native American, it amounts to 1.5 percent, or greater than the average European American.
Warren, who is mulling a 2020 presidential run, repeatedly has been mocked by President Trump for claiming Native American heritage. Trump has dubbed her “Pocahontas” for months.
But in apparent response to those jabs, Warren produced a video for her Senate re-election campaign playing up the results of her latest DNA test.
In it, Warren says: “The president likes to call my mom a liar. What do the facts say?”
Stanford University Professor Carlos D. Bustamante, who did the analysis, replies: “The facts suggest that you absolutely have Native American ancestry in your pedigree.”
Warren used the Globe report to directly respond to Trump's charity challenge.
"By the way,
@realDonaldTrump: Remember saying on 7/5 that you’d give $1M to a charity of my choice if my DNA showed Native American ancestry? I remember – and here's the verdict. Please send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center," Warren tweeted, including a link to the group's website.
Fox News' Mike Arroyo contributed to this report.