During a Friday interview on “The Breakfast Club” radio show, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren was grilled about her past claims of Native American ancestry.
Co-host Charlamagne Tha God asked Warren how she was told that she had Native American blood.
“I grew up in Oklahoma. I learned about my family the same way most people learn about their family, from my momma and my daddy and my aunts and my uncles, and it’s what I believed. But I’m not a person of color. I’m not a citizen of a tribe, and I shouldn’t have done it.”
Warren added that she couldn’t go back and correct her mistake.
President Trump has regularly mocked Warren over her claims of Native American ancestry, derisively referring to her as “Pocahontas” at rallies and when speaking to reporters.
In October, Warren released a video that highlighted the results of a DNA test that found “strong evidence” of a Native American ancestor, but she later apologized to tribal leaders for undergoing the procedure and giving credence to the notion that tribal citizenship was simply a matter of blood.
Later in Friday’s interview, Warren was asked to clarify the timeline regarding her claims.
“How long did you hold on to that, because there were some reports that said you were Native American on your Texas bar license and that you said you were Native American on some documents when you were a professor at Harvard?” Charlamagne Tha God asked. “Like, why’d you do that?”
“So, it’s what I believed. You know, that’s like I said, it’s what I learned from my family,” Warren responded.
“When did you find out that you weren’t?” the host pressed.
“Well, it’s — I’m not a person of color. I’m not a citizen of a tribe, and tribal citizenship is an important distinction and not something I am,” Warren replied.
“Were there any benefits to that?” Charlamagne Tha God asked.
“No, the Boston Globe did a full investigation,” Warren answered. “It never affected, nothing about my family every affected any job I ever got.”
“You’re kind of like the original Rachel Dolezal, a little bit. Rachel Dolezal was a white woman pretending to be black,” Charlamagne Tha God said.
“No, this is what I learned from my family.”
A former NAACP chapter president, Dolezal resigned her post in disgrace in June 2015 after being outed as white by her parents.
Should Warren earn the presidential nomination, or be picked as a running mate, her ancestral background will no doubt continue to be scrutinized.
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