President Donald Trump calls her a fake “Pocahontas.” But genetic analysis finds that US Senator Elizabeth Warren does have Native American DNA, the Boston Globe reports.
What happened: Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, sent her DNA anonymously to the Stanford University laboratory of Carlos Bustamente, a well-known specialist in genetic ancestry. (You can read a new Q&A with Bustamente here, published today in MIT Technology Review.)
The test: Warren’s ancestry was analyzed on a “chip” that looked at 764,958 sites where people’s DNA letters commonly differ. This is the same technology used in commercial direct-to-consumer ancestry tests, like that from Ancestry.com.
What they found: According to a summary of the lab’s findings, Warren’s genome is more than 95% European. But she does have five segments in her DNA that look Native American. The largest spans about 4,700,000 DNA letters. While that is less than 1/1,000th of her DNA, it was enough for Bustamante to conclude with confidence she probably has a Native American ancestor about six to 10 generations ago, according to an executive summary of the findings.
Now what: On July 5, during a political rally in Montana, Trump dared Warren to submit to a DNA test and offered a bet, according to the Washington Post: “I will give you a million dollars, paid for by Trump, to your favorite charity, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.”