While campaigning in Iowa Saturday, a voter confronted U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren during an event regarding her decision to use a DNA test to prove her claim that she really is of Native American heritage.
Her alleged Native American ancestry has been a point of contention for the legislator. She has addressed backlash about using a DNA test before and had to defend herself against President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign regarding her comments about being of Native American ancestry. According to CNN, he repeatedly mocked her Native American heritage and referred to her as “Pocahontas.”
“I am not a person of color,” the Massachusetts Democrat responded. “I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes — and only tribes — determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference.”
Warren defended her choice to conduct a DNA test. She explained that she grew up in Oklahoma and like many others from that region, had been told over the years about her family’s Native American ancestry.
“My decision was to put it all out there,” Warren said.
The voter who questioned her motives did not seem to be as concerned about the test itself, but rather Trump’s repeated attacks on that particular matter, CNN reported.
“I can’t stop Donald Trump from what he’s going to do,” Warren said. “I can’t stop him from hurling racial insults. I don’t have any power to do that. What I can do is I can be in this fight for all of our families. What I think 2020 is going to be about is not my family, it’s about the tens of millions of families across this country who just want a level playing field.”
During an interview conducted with Fox News after Warren announced forming a presidential exploratory committee earlier this week, Trump lambasted Warren about the test and said he would “love to run against her.”
When asked if he believed Warren could defeat him in a run for the White House’s top position in 2020, Trump rudely retorted.
“I don’t know. You would have to ask her psychiatrist,” he said.
Democrat Judy Plank was interviewed by CNN before Warren spoke at the event and expressed concerns about the DNA test and how it likely will fuel the fire even further, especially from the president.
“It’s just playing into his hands,” she said. “It’s getting onto his turf, and he knows how to handle his turf. And so I’m not sure she should have gotten into it, but anyway I hope she learned from it.”