Elizabeth Warren on Monday released the results of a DNA test showing “strong evidence’’ that she has Native American ancestry. The analysis suggested she is descended from an American Indian between six to ten generations ago, making her between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American.
The test was analyzed by Carlos D. Bustamante, a prominent DNA expert and Stanford University professor, who won a 2010 MacArthur fellowship for his work tracking population migration by DNA analysis. “The results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor,” Bustamante said, although “the vast majority” of Warren’s ancestry is European.
Warren grew up in Oklahoma, where, she has long claimed, family history held that her great-great-great-grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith was part Native American.
As far back as 2012, Republicans have criticized Warren for claiming Native American ancestry as she climbed the ranks of American academia, as National Review‘s David French detailed last year:
When she came to Harvard Law School, she was — believe it or not — considered by some to be a “minority hire.” She listed herself as a minority on a legal directory reviewed by deans and hiring committees. The University of Pennsylvania “listed her as a minority faculty member,” and she was touted after her hire at Harvard Law School as, yes, the school’s “first woman of color.”
This was no small thing. At the time, elite universities were under immense pressure to diversify their faculties (as they still are). “More women” was one command. “More women of color” was the ideal. At Harvard the pressure was so intense that students occupied the administration building, and the open spaces of the school were often filled with screaming, chanting students.
The senator’s decision to clear up controversy over her ethnicity comes as she ramps up for what is expected to be a formidable run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Asked about the test results Monday, President Trump said he didn’t care about Warren’s ancestry, but he would be happy to see her as his opponent in a reelection campaign.
“I hope she’s running for president because I think she’d be very easy. I do not think she’d be very difficult at all,” Trump said. “I don’t want to say bad things about her because I hope she’s one of the people that get through the process.”