Sen. Elizabeth Warren is apologizing for claiming Native American heritage tonight, but it's probably not going to stop Trump from calling her "Pocahontas".
Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday that she was sorry that she identified herself as a Native American for almost two decades, reflecting her ongoing struggle to quiet a controversy that continues to haunt her as she prepares to formally announce a presidential bid.
Her comments more fully explain the regret she expressed last week to the chief of the Cherokee Nation, the first time she’s said she was sorry for claiming American Indian heritage.
The private apology was earlier reported as focusing more narrowly on a DNA test she took to demonstrate her purported heritage, a move that prompted a ferocious backlash even from many allies. Warren will be vying to lead a party that has become far more mindful of nonwhite voters and their objections to misuse of their culture.
“I can’t go back,” Warren said in an interview with The Washington Post. “But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”
Warren has been trying for the past year to get past the lingering controversy over her past assertion that she is Native American.
In addition to the DNA test, she released employment documents over the summer to show she didn’t use ethnicity to further her career. And in a speech a year ago she addressed her decision to call herself a Native American, though she didn’t offer the apology that some wanted at the time.
But as Warren undergoes increased scrutiny as a presidential candidate, additional documents could surface to keep the issue alive.
Using an open records request during a general inquiry, for example, The Post obtained Warren’s registration card for the State Bar of Texas, providing a previously undisclosed example of Warren identifying as an “American Indian.”
Warren filled out the card by hand in neat blue ink and signed it. Dated April 1986, it is the first document to surface showing Warren making the claim in her own handwriting. Her office didn’t dispute its authenticity.
Unfortunately, if Warren benefited from her claim of heritage, I'm going to have to say that the apology isn't going to be enough for most voters. She's a great senator and Massachusetts is pretty happy with her, but I don't see her presidential prospects going much further after tonight, which is a shame because I'd think she'd make a pretty decent President.
We'll see where this ends up, but you can bet the oppo research teams are in overdrive tonight.