Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was grilled by CNN’s David Axelrod just days ago about why she would have listed herself as native American when there was clearly no evidence to support it.
“The question that I’ve never understood is why? Axelrod asked. “Why did you in 1986 fill out on your — I guess it was your law license or something — an exam application, ‘American Indian’? Why did you check those boxes?”
“Because obviously, that’s a very small part of your lineage, you know, 1/32nd or something. So why did you do it?”
Warren’s response was similar to what she has stated in the past, which is that she was led to believe that she was an American Indian, based on family lore.
“I grew up in Oklahoma, I learned about my family the same way most people learn about their family, from my mom and my dad and my aunts and my uncles,” Warren asserted, seemingly shifting the blame to family members.
“Based on what I learned growing up, and the fact that I love my family, decades ago I sometimes identified as Native American. It never had anything to do with any job that I got, that’s been fully documented,” Warren said.
“But the universities kind of fudged and used you for their own purposes,” Axelrod answered.
“It never had anything to do with my getting a job,” Warren said again. “Even so, I shouldn’t have done it. I’m not a person of color, I am not a citizen of a tribe. But what I try to do is be a good friend to Native Americans,” Warren went on, pivoting to legislation that she supports, including a housing bill to fund housing on reservations.
While Warren has denied that she was ever given favor because of her self reported Native American heritage, it’s been widely reported that Harvard Law School once flaunted her as a Native American Professor.
When asked by the interviewer whether the public DNA search was something she wishes she’d never gotten involved in, Warren said, “I can’t go back — all I can do is go forward … I think I have [learned from it].”