Say what you want about Donald Trump, but he has an instinctive knack for zeroing in on an opponent’s inherent weakness.

With Jeb, it was “low energy.” That term exploited a key perception problem of Jeb, and one he couldn’t shake. So too did “Little Marco,” which may have ended not only Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign, but his political career — it’s a term I just can’t shake from my current perception of Rubio, and I suspect that a decade from now his political opponents will be referring to him as Little Marco.

As to Hillary, Trump went straight for her supposed strength — supporting women and women’s rights — by zeroing in on Bill Clinton’s serial abuse of women and Hillary’s silence or connivance.

Now comes Elizabeth Warren, who harshly criticized Trump this week. Trump’s response zeroes in on Warren’s key perception problem, that she dishonestly claimed Native American, and specifically Cherokee, heritage for professional purposes. The research on Warren’s Cherokee problem is at Elizabeth Warren Wiki.

Trump is quoted by Maureen Dowd in a column at the NY Times, Will Trump Be Dumped?, responding to Warren’s criticism, as follows:

More heavyweights are jumping in to stomp Trump, including Elizabeth Warren. Asked about her jabs, he pounced: “I think it’s wonderful because the Indians can now partake in the future of the country. She’s got about as much Indian blood as I have. Her whole life was based on a fraud. She got into Harvard and all that because she said she was a minority.”

The comment is getting headlines, including at the Boston Globe, which did everything it could during the 2012 Senate campaign to cover for Warren on the issue; and at The Daily Beast.

It’s hard for Warren to respond on the Cherokee issue in any meaningful way. She refused in late June 2012 to meet with a group of Cherokee women who traveled to Boston to speak with her.

It was an issue she assiduously evaded during the 2012 campaign, other than to have her staff accuse people who exposed the truth (like me), of being “right wing extremists.”

Here is the truth. Liz Warren has no Native American ancestry. A Cherokee genealogist studied all her family lines, and there is no Indian history.

The so-called 1/32 Cherokee blood was a false claim, and now is an urban myth.

The fact is that, while there may have been some rumors or stories in her family, Warren never lived as an Indian, never embraced that identity, never helped Indians or associated with them, and didn’t even claim Indian status when she registered with the Senate. The only time in her life that Warren fully embraced her supposed Native American identity was in a law professor directory used for hiring purposes when she was in her mid-30s and starting to climb the law school ladder, eventually landing at Harvard Law School.

I’ve often wondered why Warren never challenged Hillary. If Bernie is doing well, Warren would have crushed Hillary. But Warren chose not to run for some reason — I’m guessing that there is something out there in her Oklahoma history relating to the Native American claim that she doesn’t want coming out, but that would destroy her credibility on the issue. It’s something that would take deep opposition research, the type that only people like the Clinton’s have access to … and may already have.

So Trump is onto something. It doesn’t absolve Trump of any of his own faults and issues, but it does put Liz Warren’s core political problem in play again. And that’s important, because if Hillary gets into legal trouble, Warren will be one of the names suggested to parachute in to save the party.

[Featured Image: Elizabeth Warren questioned about Indian claims]