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Elizabeth Warren DNA test responding to Trump’s mocking solidifies her brand as a fake

Elizabeth Warren DNA test responding to Trump’s mocking solidifies her brand as a fake

Own Goal: It’s as if Trump set a trap, and Warren walked right into it.

Elizabeth Warren is not a spontaneous politician. Much like Hillary Clinton, every political move is planned out meticulously.

It’s why Warren has become notorious for avoiding unplanned encounters with reporters, where she can’t control the format. Her preference has been to sit down only with friendly interviewers who will not challenge her in any meaningful way.

Warren also uses The Boston Globe as her press publicist, spoon feeding Globe reporters with exclusive access to family members and documents to promote the narrative Warren wants on her claim to be Native American.

When Warren rolled out her DNA test results via The Boston Globe on October 15, 2018, it was well-planned. Warren did not use the normal commercial method of obtaining an interpretation of her DNA test data, instead handpicking a Stanford professor. Warren provided the professor’s report to the Globe, which does not appear to have demanded the underlying data for review by other experts. It all was very controlled. The Globe even resurrected the claim that Warren’s great-great-great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith might be Cherokee, a claim that the Globe retracted as without basis in May 2012.

Warren combined the Globe promo piece with a highly produced video telling Warren’s family story to support her claim of “family lore” of Native American heritage.

So when the Globe article went live, Warren had every reason to think this might put an end to the controversy. But just the opposite happened.

The test interpretation was revealed to be based largely on non-Native American DNA sample data, and worse still, was inconclusive. The interpretation of the data was that there was “strong evidence” that Warren might have a Native American ancestor 6 to 10 generations ago. That would put Warren somewhere between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American based on DNA. It also meant that Warren might have less Native American DNA than the average American of European descent.

Worse still, Warren offended Native Americans by using DNA as proof of ancestry. That’s not how it works for tribes. Warren has to show an actual Native American ancestor, not just a hypothetical DNA donor 6-10 generations ago.

The Cherokee Nation responded with fury, Cherokee Nation: “Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage” (emphasis added):

A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr. said. “Sovereign tribal national 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. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. 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.”

Other Native American leaders have  been even more scathing, accusing Warren of undermining Native American sovereignty and feeding into negative narratives. Even the Warren-friendly Washington Post noted, Elizabeth Warren angers prominent Native Americans with politically fraught DNA test:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s release of a DNA test that suggested a lineage to a distant Native American ancestor has roiled the indigenous community, frustrated about the seizure of cultural and social ties for political maneuvering….

Kim TallBear, a researcher at the University of Alberta, called Warren’s claims “yet another strike” against “tribal sovereignty.”

That erosion, TallBear said Monday on Twitter, has been long-standing.

“Non-Indigenous Americans will never stop making claims to all things indigenous: bones, blood, land, waters, and identities. The U.S. continues to appropriate every last thing.”

Gyasi Ross, an author focused on Native American issues and culture, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that “there is definitely a level of anger, of tone-deafness” in Warren’s approach.

Aaron Blake at WaPo writes that the Cherokee Nation rebuke is important:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s decision to release a DNA test verifying a claim to (very distant) Native American heritage was always a strategy of necessity rather than choice. This claim dogged Warren in her first Senate campaign in 2012, and regardless of the appropriateness of President Trump’s “Pocahontas” attacks on her, it very much threatens to be a liability if the Massachusetts Democrat runs for president in 2020.

Now the gambit seems to have backfired with some prominent Native Americans — most notably the Cherokee Nation. And that group’s response is particularly important when you consider this: Six years ago, it gave Warren a pass.

The Cherokee Nation’s secretary of state, Chuck Hoskin Jr., released a blistering statement Monday in response to the test showing Warren was between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American…

However you feel about Trump’s rhetoric or Warren’s claims, the rebuke is a significant political moment. This is the very nation to which Warren claims a connection saying that she is “undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.” They’re effectively saying her claims and efforts to prove her heritage are no longer helpful and even harmful. Individual Native Americans have denounced Warren before; now the Cherokee Nation has taken a pretty firm stand against her, thanks to the DNA test….

It’s one thing for Warren to lend some credence and proof to her ancestry claim; it’s another for that claim to be judged sufficient for Warren to use it in a professional setting. The Cherokee Nation’s statement and the reactions of other Native Americans suggest they’re unwilling to accept the latter.

The DNA test has given Trump even more ammunition:

Republican Senators are openly mocking Warren’s DNA test:

Mockery from Republicans could be expected, but some Democrats are not happy Warren pulled this publicity stunt right before the midterm elections:

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., might have believed that releasing DNA test results that apparently prove her Native American heritage would show up President Trump and other Republican critics and put the controversy to rest. However, it has only breathed new life into the story and angered fellow Democrats who fear a blue wave may not happen in next month’s midterm elections … President Obama’s former campaign manager, Jim Messina, on Monday sharply criticized Warren, saying she was throwing the Democratic Party off-message just weeks before November’s critical midterm elections. “Argue the substance all you want, but why 22 days before a crucial election where we MUST win house and senate to save America, why did @SenWarren have to do her announcement now?,” Messina tweeted. “”Why can’t Dems ever stay focused???”

This has been an ‘own goal’ for Warren.

CNN’s Chris Cillizza noted Warren “might have actually made things worse with her DNA gambit.”

[h/t Neonaster Twitter]

All of this, keep in mind, is because Trump relentlessly has branded Warren as “Pocahontas.” That term is meant to mock Warren’s fake claim to be Native American, not to mock Native Americans, as Warren claims.

I wrote about this branding in April 2017, Trump branding of Elizabeth Warren as Fake Indian continues, expecting her to run in 2020:

When Newt Gingrich spoke at Cornell earlier this semester, he made a very important point.

Trump doesn’t attack his political opponents, he brands them. The brand for Jeb was “low energy.” For Rubio, it was “little Marco.” For Cruz, it was “lyin’ Ted.” Once branded, they could not shake the image.

Just ask “Crooked Hillary.”

Which brings up Elizabeth Warren….

Speaking at the NRA today, Trump warned that members should expect “Pocahontas” to run:

“I have a feeling that in the next election, you’re going to be swamped with candidates, but you’re not going to be wasting your time,” said Trump, the first sitting president to address the NRA’s convention since Ronald Reagan. “You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you’re going to say, ‘No, sir. No, thank you. No, ma’am.’ Perhaps ‘ma’am.’ It may be Pocahontas, remember that. And she is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you. But you came through for me, and I am going to come through for you.”

… Trump is branding her. And being someone who was a fake Indian is her brand. She’ll never shake it.

By taking the DNA test in response to Trump’s mocking her, Warren has solidified her ethnic deception as part of her brand.



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legacyrepublican | October 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm

Well, I am praying one day that the most friendly interview Warren can find anywhere is with a Mickey Mouse reporter who asks the lying squaw how to spell mouse in smoke signals.

To put things in perspective. I had a very good friend (he died an early death) who was head of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Being Hawaiian can confer great benefits, both by Federal Law and by private trusts (both the laws and the trusts were established by the efforts of the Royal families).

When someone brings in a genetic test to prove quantum, the response of the authorities is “All you have done is prove you are not Hawaiian”.
Why? Because the test reveal a quantum of genes that are not found among Polynesians. As for the genes that are, 1. they are found among all Polynesians, not just Hawaiian, and 2. These genes are also found, in parts, among native Taiwanese, Micronesians, Malaysians, etc. So the genetic tests prove nothing other than “You have only shown us you are not Hawaiian, not who your ancestors actually are”.
So hire a genealogist (Hawaii was one of the first nations to record all births, parentage and deaths), and show your ancestry like everyone else had to before genetic testing.
This is also what the Cherokee and many other tribes wish.

    Eastwood Ravine in reply to puhiawa. | October 16, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    People serious about it are going to research the genealogy, or hire it done. Sometimes they may be lucky the research was already completed by someone else in their line.

    Rather than get her DNA tested she could have gone to Utah. Genealogy is incredibly important for Mormons/LDS so their researchers are considered among the best genealogists in the world.

      Likewise here in Hawaii where approved genealogists read Hawaiian and know most major families and all the royal lineages. They also work with the Mormon church which has a college in Hawaii that specialize in educating Polynesians.

I understand that very Wash. Post reporter is viewed as slamming the Cherokee Nation for hypocrisy for its change in tone from defending Warren in 2012. But, in 2012 Warren wasn’t using a DNA test to claim proof of “heritage”. Apparently DNA testing is a political no-no with the tribes, and yet Warren finally decided to go all in anyway.

I see no mention of Warren’s long Twitter rant against Trump, but that is more important to me than a DNA test. It goes to… what was the word again…? Temperament.

Warren vs. “tribal sovereignty” is like the Iran-Iraq war, or the trouble between the Uighurs and Chinese. No matter which side is damaged most, the rest of the world wins.

As a Mongolian-American and direct descendant of Genghis Khan, I am relieved that there is virtually zero chance that she is anything but white. I’d hate to think I was sharing DNA or anything else with that screech.

According to generations-long family lore our family is directly descended from Pocahontas.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to jack burton. | October 16, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Well, then, that makes us cousins, since my”generations-long family lore” claims we are descended from her tribe.
    (personally, based on the timing of the when the legend started, various “family noses,” and a VERY rare last name that only seems to belong to African-American athletes, I think it was a not an Indian ancestor but a light-skinned black man who felt that being Indian was better than black at the turn of the 19th century….)

      JusticeDelivered in reply to Morning Sunshine. | October 16, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      I had been under the impression for many years that that freed blacks (like French trappers)and Native Americans had intermarried. Since I am 1/8 native American, I wondered if there was any black linage.

      It turned out that there was very little black interbreeding with native Americans, with the exception of one small group.

      “I have to confess, the results showed that I had a surprisingly high amount of European ancestry (50.5 percent) but only 0.8 percent Native American ancestry. (I am 48.2 percent sub-Saharan African.) No one seemed to mind all that white ancestry, but the low level of Native American ancestry caused something of a family crisis.”

I remember some of the early reporting when archaeologists found the remains of “Kennewick Man” on the banks of the Columbia river in 1996. It was the first I’d ever heard of the land-bridge crossing theory and some even supposed American Indians shared heritage with Asian (mongoloid) peoples. The wrangling over the remains and whether or not to permit DNA analysis and other study went on for 10+ years. Ultimately the remains were determined to be native American, in particular an ancient ancestor of the tribes affiliated with the Colville reservation in WA.

Some reading about Kennewick man and the DNA testing performed on his remains:

Many links from the Wiki page on Kennewick Man, too.

What piques my curiosity is the DNA analysis of Kennewick man and the researchers ability to link him to the native American tribes at Colville / Columbia basin area. How is it such DNA data was not used in Warren’s DNA analysis?

    Anonamom in reply to MrE. | October 17, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I believe it was those results that have led to the use of the proxy data (Peruvian, Columbian, Mexican.) For a very good summary of where the science now, I’d suggest, “Who We Are and How We Got Here” by David Reich. Aside from a truly ridiculous section wherein he apologizes for any possible negative connotations of the data, it’s an interesting read.

My mom was told as a small girl that she was descended from an Indian princess from Deluth Canada who married a French trapper. I found a historical marker that matched this story and the Indian Princesses maiden name is the same as my mother’s maiden name. Does that make me Native American?

Does she give good feather?

Colonel Travis | October 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm

I don’t want to brag, but I was Time’s Person Of The Year in 2006.

Unfortunately, it opened no doors for me.


But maybe Warren can have better luck and can use this same award to springboard back to credibility, because (embarrassed to admit) she shared 2006 Person Of The Year with me. As a member of this exclusive club, I think it’s my duty to urge her to at least try.

I love how the good professor has now become a national expert on Warren’s fake narrative. Good job. All the more reason to financially support this blog.

Seriously Trump is blessed with the dumbest enemies possible.

    These malignant clowns (the usual suspects) haven’t changed much in many years. This doesn’t say much for the GOP crying boehners who let them run roughshod over them – and most importantly, our country.

So, crone Hillary carries a bottle of hot sauce in her purse, wherever she goes, right? That’s what she claimed, to prove her plebeian bona fides and to gain “street cred” with the proletariat rabble.

What is Chief Dropping Bull Warren going to claim, in order to take the luster off of her multi-residence real estate portfolio and her not insignificant net worth?

I’m guessing, it’ll be something along the lines of, “I drive a beat-up 1973 Chevy Caprice with 500,000 miles on it,” or, something to that effect. Something that screams, “I buy American,” and, evinces good ol’ middle-class frugality.

Do you have high cheekbones? If so you’re a lock

Her NOT doing a genealogy report through the tribes is a huge indicator that she fell for the dna ruse and has now further damaged her campaign/credibility.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | October 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm


Wonder if Lizzie Borden….er….Warren (I really can’t tell the two apart) could be baited and trapped into this also?

“Group of Women Shocked Heitkamp Campaign ID’d Them as Sexual Assault Survivors Without Permission”

“Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) had an understandably emotional reaction to a recent comment from her Republican challenger Kevin Cramer. Responding to the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the “Me Too” movement at large, Cramer spoke out against the current “movement toward victimization” and added that the women in his family were “tough.”

Trump may be a lot of things, but you have to admit….the guy is actually a branding genius. I can’t figure it out, but he has. The guy branded each and every one of his opponents in the R primary, and did it successfully. He branded Hillary. He branded Warren. He branded Kim Jong Un. This is what he does, and he makes it look easy.

It’s good ammunition against Warren, but this is also a moment where the GOP could take up Native American issues sincerely and really slam dunk the situation. Take it from the Democrats and do something the right way.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | October 16, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Something I’ve seen on comment on.

Aren’t these “DNA” samples highly susceptible to contamination, the way other forensic evidence used in court cases is?

For an old bat the crone is kinda’ cute… in a way. Is she non-fat? Maybe the wench can don a tight, thin, clingy leotard and sexy stockings and have her make-up done just right and enter that Dancing With the Stars show and move her body in a seductive manner. She could thrill the geriatric set and entertain the public in a way that does no harm.

The wench would also receive the attention she lusts for. A win-win. Get attention without causing no harm.

    MrE in reply to Obbop. | October 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    “…without causing no harm.”

    Of course you realize that’s a double-negative!?! 😉

    If your “kinda’ cute” metro-sexual boy-girl Warren ever did such a thing and I were to see it, I’d have to gouge my eyes out.