Earlier this week, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced that she was starting an exploratory committee in advance of a 2020 Presidential run. She also spent this weekend in Iowa, meeting with voters as she gets a head start over the twenty+ potential candidates looking to challenge the president in the next election.
During an event in Sioux City on Saturday morning, an audience member asked Warren about her decision to take a DNA test and release the results of her miniscule Native American ancestry.
“Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald Trump more fodder to be a bully?” the unnamed audience member asked. Warren released results from the DNA test in October, which showed “strong evidence” of Native American ancestry.
“I’m glad you asked that question,” Warren responded. “I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry.”
“So my decision was, I’m just going to put it all out there,” Warren added. “I can’t stop Donald Trump from what he’s going to do. I can’t stop him from hurling racial insults. But what I can do is I can be in this fight for all of our families.”
The test, which showed she was at least 1/1024th Native American, was also denounced by the Cherokee nation that said using “a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong.”
Trump, who joined a chorus of Republicans in attacking Warren for years over her claim of being Native, has repeatedly used the racist nickname “Pocahontas” to mock Warren. Conservatives have also attacked Warren for claiming Cherokee heritage in order to gain favor for jobs that helped boost her career, something her former employers have said did not play a role in the hiring process.
Warren started her visit to Iowa on Friday with an event in Council Bluffs and continued throughout the weekend.