Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has removed sections of her campaign website that had disputed claims about her heritage, including the results of a DNA test that showed she had scant traces of Native American ancestry.
Until Sunday, Warren’s website included a video of the Democrat receiving the results of the genetic test, which showed that she had between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American ancestry. Warren initially touted the results as a vindication of her claims throughout her academic career that she has Cherokee ancestry.
In April 1986, Warren listed herself as “Native American” on a Texas state bar registration form. Harvard Law School, where Warren taught before entering politics, referred to Warren as the school’s only Native American professor as recently as 1996. Warren also listed herself as a minority in the Association of American Law Schools directory from 1986 to 1994.
Warren has faced withering criticism over the past several years that she embellished her Indian heritage. President Donald Trump has mockingly referred to her as “Pocahontas.”
Warren hoped to put the controversy to bed by undergoing a genetic test. Warren’s campaign posted a report of the test results on Oct. 10, 2018, as well as the claim that the analysis provided “‘strong evidence’ that Elizabeth’s DNA ‘contains Native American ancestry.’”
But Warren’s decision quickly backfired because the test showed she had between 0.1 percent and 1.5 percent Native American ancestry. The Cherokee Nation issued a statement on Oct. 15 calling Warren’s release of her genetic test results “inappropriate.”
CNN reported Sunday that the campaign planned to scrub sections of Warren’s website dealing with her heritage as part of a reboot of her campaign. The change appears to have been made by Monday, though the content remains viewable on the Internet Wayback Machine.
According to CNN, Warren has met with Native American leaders, and has apologized in private for over-stating her ancestry claims.
As part of her campaign reset, Warren addressed the scandal during a speech Monday at a Native American forum in Sioux City.
“I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations that we’ve had together,” she said.