President Donald Trump resumed his racially charged attacks on Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American heritage Thursday. And Warren, for her part, is responding to the personal taunts by shifting the focus to the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their families.
“Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you’re destroying,” the Massachusetts senator tweeted.
Trump’s latest attack on Warren’s heritage claims came at a rally Thursday evening in Great Falls, Montana, during which he ruminated onstage about his potential Democratic opponents in his 2020 re-election campaign.
“Pocahontas, they always want me to apologize,” he said, alluding to critics who say the nickname, which he gave to Warren during the 2016 presidential campaign, is culturally insensitive, if not racist.
Trump went on to apologize to “Pocahontas,” but not the “fake Pocahontas.”
Continuing on, the president pledged to the crowd — “I promise you I’ll do this” — that if he faces Warren in a debate, he will bring a DNA ancestry testing kit and offer to donate $1 million to her favorite charity if she takes the test and proves her claims.
Trump also mocked the #MeToo movement to expose sexual harassment and assault, saying that he would toss the kit to Warren “very gently.”
“Let’s say I’m debating Pocahontas, right?” he said. “I promise you I’ll do this, you know those little kits they sell on television for $2? ‘Learn your heritage.’ … I’m going to get one of those little kits, and, in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims she’s of Indian heritage — because her mother said she has high cheekbones, that’s her only evidence, that her mother said she had high cheekbones — we will take that little kit, and say — but we have to do it gently, because we’re in the #MeToo generation, so we have to be very gentle — and we will very gently take that kit and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm, even though it only weighs probably 2 ounces, and we will say, ‘I will give you a million dollars for your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian.'”
Trump added that he had a feeling that Warren would decline the offer.
The senator did however respond to Trump directly Thursday night.
Rather than engage in the president’s personal attacks, she redirected the subject of DNA tests to the reports that the federal government is controversially conducting DNA blood and saliva tests in an effort to reunite children and parents who were separated as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy on illegal immigration. More than 2,500 children were separated from their parents over the course of two months due to the policy.
“While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order,” Warren tweeted.
A federal judge has ruled that the administration must make sure that every separated parent is able to contact their child by Friday and that all children must be reunited with their parents by July 26.
Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order. Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you're destroying.
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) July 5, 2018
Warren has said that she was told from an early age that her mother’s side of the family had Cherokee ancestry. She also listed herself as Native American earlier in her career, but there’s no evidence that she gained an advantage from noting that minority status.