Sean Murphy, Washington Times, December 22, 2019
Returning to the state where she was born, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren met privately with Native American tribal leaders Sunday and offered no new apology for the DNA test she took to counter President Trump’s taunts about her claim to American Indian heritage, according to a meeting participant.
Warren had released the DNA analysis in October 2018, before entering the 2020 race, as she tried to defuse the issue. Trump had long mocked the Massachusetts senator for her ancestral claims and repeatedly referred to her as “Pocahontas,” a racial slur he still employs.
But Warren came under criticism from some tribal officials who said DNA tests were useless to determine tribal citizenship. The Cherokee Nation complained that Warren was “undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage,” and in August, Warren offered a public apology at a forum on Native American issues, directly addressing an issue that had proved to be a political liability.
“She’s apologized for that, and I don’t speak for tribal leaders, but in my mind that is no longer an issue at all,” said Kalyn Free, Democratic national committeewoman from Oklahoma who attended the meeting Sunday in Tulsa. “She didn’t meet with them because of that issue. She met with them because she genuinely cares about tribal leaders and the issues that are important to them.”