- Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was grilled by the hosts of the radio program "The Breakfast Club" on Friday morning over her past self-identification as Native American.
- Co-host Charlamagne Tha God, who is black, repeatedly questioned the 2020 presidential candidate over her longtime claim of Native American ancestry.
- He suggested that Warren had lied about her identity for personal or professional gain and compared her to Rachel Dolezal, a white activist who notoriously claimed to be black.
- Warren said she grew up believing she had Native American ancestry because her family told her so. But she said she regrets identifying that way now.
- "I’m not a person of color. I’m not a citizen of a tribe, and I shouldn’t have done it," Warren said on Friday.
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, was grilled by the hosts of the radio program "The Breakfast Club" on Friday morning over her past self-identification as Native American.
Co-host Charlamagne Tha God, who is black, repeatedly questioned Warren over her longtime claim of Native American ancestry and suggested that Warren had lied about her identity for personal or professional gain.
At one point in the interview, he compared Warren to the former NAACP Spokane chapter president whose false claim that she was black earned her international infamy.
"You’re kind of like the original Rachel Dolezal, a little bit. Rachel Dolezal was a white woman pretending to be black," he said during the interview.
The interview revives an issue that has dogged Warren’s presidential campaign, and one that President Donald Trump has repeatedly seized on to mock and undermine the senator.
Warren made the same defense on Friday morning that she’s repeatedly made over the last several months.
"I grew up in Oklahoma. I learned about my family the same way most people learn about their family, from my momma and my daddy and my aunts and my uncles, and it’s what I believed," she said. "But I’m not a person of color. I’m not a citizen of a tribe, and I shouldn’t have done it."
And she added that her self-identification never gave her a professional advantage.
"It never affected, nothing about my family ever affected any job I ever got," she said.
Last October, Warren released the findings of a DNA test that a report said "strongly support" her claim of Native American ancestry. But Warren later apologized to Native American leaders, some of whom insisted that DNA does not determine an individual’s claim to a Native American identity.
"I can’t go back," she said. "But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted."
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