NBC News Doesn’t Ask Elizabeth Warren About False Cherokee Ancestry Claims in First Debate

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JUNE 26: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to the media in the spin room following the first night of the Democratic presidential debate on June 26, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A field of 20 Democratic presidential candidates was split into two groups of 10 for the first …
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Neither debate moderators nor fellow candidates challenged Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) on her false Native American ancestry claims during Wednesday night’s two-hour Democrat debate.

Not once did the history of Warren’s false statements on her now-debunked Native American ancestry come up during the two-hour face-off. While Warren’s proponents argue that the debate was policy-oriented, critics point to Chuck Todd’s question aimed toward Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) on her past controversial positions on gay rights.

“Let me say that there is no one in our government at any level who has the right to tell any American who they should be allowed to love or who they should be allowed to marry,” she said. “My record in Congress for over six years shows my commitment to fighting for LGBTQ equality.”

Onlookers could not help but notice the elephant in the room: Warren remained utterly unchallenged on one of her biggest controversies — a controversy that has dragged out for months, years even.

In October, Warren released the results of a DNA test, which revealed her to be between 1/64th and 1/1,024 Native American. At best, she is 1.56 percent Native American, which is well below the percentage needed for Cherokee tribal membership. Despite that, Warren considered herself “Native American” and not “white” during her tenure at both the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School. She also identified as “Native American” on her Texas Bar registration card from 1986.

“I can’t go back,” Warren said. “But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”

However, Warren’s lies started to fall apart far before those developments came to light.

As Breitbart News reported:

Much of Warren’s claim to American Indian heritage was debunked in 2014 when official documents, including a marriage certificate, appeared to prove that Warren’s story about her parents being forced to elope due to her mother’s Indian heritage was not true.

In 2012, Warren told the Boston Globe, “My father’s family so objected to my mother’s Native American heritage that my mother told me they had to elope.” But there appears to be a marriage certificate and contemporaneous press accounts of Warren’s parents having a Methodist wedding in 1932 — which would mean there was no elopement.

Warren has also claimed her great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, was part American Indian. The Boston Globe, however, reports that Smith “identified as white in historical documents.”

All that being considered (and ultimately ignored particularly by moderators), Warren’s critics conclude the debate was “rigged” in her favor.

During the debate, Gabbard’s sister tweeted, “It’s clear who MSNBC wants to be president: Elizabeth Warren. They’re giving her more time than all the other candidates combined. They aren’t giving any time to Tulsi at all.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.