By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Senator Elizabeth Warren showed up at a meeting of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington Wednesday, and directly addressed an issue that’s been dogging her since she won her Senate seat in 2012 – her assertion of partial Native American heritage.

That undocumented claim has been ridiculed over the years, mostly by conservatives who insist she used it to advance her career, but also by Native-American groups and liberals who see the uproar over her story as a political weakness.

President Trump has been notably obsessed with the topic, even bringing it up at a White House event honoring Navajo veterans of World War II.

In her speech, Warren once again said her family has Cherokee heritage on her mother’s side, while acknowledging that there’s no proof of that beyond family oral history. And she insisted she “never used my family tree to get a break or… advance my career.”

And the fact is, there is no clear evidence that she ever did so.

In the 1980s she contributed recipes to a Native American cookbook, and listed herself as a minority in a legal directory.

But if there’s a document or eyewitness to support the notion that she exploited affirmative action policies, or was promoted by others because of her claim, they have never surfaced.

If you find it offensive that Elizabeth Warren ever mentioned an ethnic heritage that she can’t prove, that is your right.

If you simply find Warren’s politics offensive, that is your privilege.

But nearly six years after this issue surfaced, it’s past time to separate politics from fact.

And the fact is, the people calling Warren a liar don’t have a leg to stand on.

Share your feedback on this with me via email at, or on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Comments (3)
  1. Bob Semp says:

    A $99 DNA test would resolve the issue once and for all…

  2. Mike Mu says:

    or…how about one of those new fangled DNA tests that would clear this up in weeks. Liberal enabling is funny.

  3. Excuse me, Jon, if listing herself as a minority in a legal directory, she surely is trying to trade on the connection.

    Don’t give us this baloney that she didn’t try. Stop providing cover for her.

    She was the one who made the ridiculous statements during her campaign. She was the one that placed the listing in the legal directory, and she was the one that plagiarized the crab recipe in the cookbook without stopping to figure out that Cherokee territory had not crabs.

    This problem is of Warren’s own making, and she should be abject over the hurt she has caused and continues to cause by trying to skate herself free from any responsibility for puffing her resume.

    She should sit down and shut up. She should also come to grips with the fact that her fabrications have set her up with the image of a damaged goods to a wide swath of those for whom she will be looking for support if she tries a run for the presidency.

    I would also suggest that should she get the nomination, her fortunes might just be the equal of a far more qualified Michael Dukakis.

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