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Cherokee Nation says Elizabeth Warren apologizes for DNA test flap

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By Alex Seitz-Wald

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has apologized to the Cherokee Nation for her decision to release the results of a DNA test showing she has distant Native American ancestry, the tribe said Friday.

“Senator Warren has reached out to us and has apologized to the tribe,” Julie Hubbard, the executive director of Cherokee Nation Communications, said in a statement to NBC News. “We are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws not through DNA tests. We are encouraged by her action and hope that the slurs and mockery of tribal citizens and Indian history and heritage will now come to an end.”

Warren, whose campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Cherokee statement, was widely panned for deciding in October to respond to President Donald Trump’s taunting by releasing the results of the DNA test, which found “strong evidence” that she has Native American ancestry dating back six to 10 generations.

The Massachusetts senator was born in Oklahoma, where she was raised hearing stories about how her parents had eloped after her father’s family objected to him marrying her mother because she was part Cherokee.

Warren was never an enrolled member of a tribe, but has said the ancestry was nonetheless part of her family story. And much later, when she ran for the Senate, Republicans alleged she had improperly claimed Native ancestry to get a leg up in the hiring process at the elite law schools where she had worked.

Trump seized on the controversy by dubbing Warren “Pocahantas,” so she and her advisers knew they would have to respond if she ran for president in 2020.

Warren tried to get ahead of Trump by taking the DNA test, which showed she wasn’t lying about her roots, but nonetheless the move backfired. The Cherokee Nation and other Native American activists criticized her for reducing their identity to a DNA test, while fellow Democrats saw an unforced tactical error.

One of the first questions Warren faced from a voter after declaring that she was exploring a presidential run this year was, “Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald more fodder to be a bully?”

Warren, clearly anticipating the question, said she was glad to field it.

“I am not a person of color. I am not a citizen of a tribe,” she said in Sioux City last month. “I grew up in Oklahoma, and like a lot of folks in Oklahoma, we heard stories about our ancestry. When I first ran for public office, Republicans homed in on this part of my history, and thought they could make a lot of hay out of it. A lot of racial slurs, and a lot of ugly stuff. And so my decision was — I’m just going to put it all out there.”

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Get Corbyn out now: Labour support plummets as 43% want him axed BEFORE next election

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SUPPORT for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has plummeted after a new poll has shown a shocking loss of backing from his own party members.

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Louisiana police officer suggests on Facebook that AOC be shot

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A Louisiana police officer is facing criticism over a comment he made last week suggesting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., be shot.

The officer, Charlie Rispoli, a 14-year veteran of the Gretna, Louisiana, police force, called Ocasio-Cortez a “vile idiot” who “needs a round, and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve,” referring to her past job as a bartender, according to a screenshot posted by nola.com. According to the New Orleans-based news outlet, his comment was a reaction to a fake quote attributed to the congresswoman claiming that “we pay soldiers too much.” Both his post and Facebook account have since been taken down.

Gretna’s police chief, Arthur Lawson, told nola.com he found the post “disturbing,” adding, “This will not go unchecked.”

“I’m not going to take this lightly and this will be dealt with on our end,” he told the outlet. “It’s not something we want someone that’s affiliated with our department to make these types of statements. That’s not going to happen.”

He said that while he did not think the post constituted an actual threat, it was likely a violation of his department’s social media policy.

A spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez declined a request to comment from NBC News.

The episode comes amid a week of backlash over comments President Donald Trump made that Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshmen congresswomen of color should “go back” to where they “originally came from” rather than criticize his administration. All four lawmakers are U.S. citizens and three of them, including Ocasio-Cortez, were born in the U.S.

Ocasio-Cortez was also the subject of violent and misogynistic Facebook posts in a private group where nearly 10,000 current and former Customs and Border Protection agents exchanged thoughts, a ProPublica investigation revealed.

And the four congresswomen targeted in Trump’s tweets, Ocasio-Cortez, Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., were the subject of a recent Facebook post by the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois, which labeled them the “jihad squad.”

“Political Jihad is their game,” the since-deleted post read. “If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology you’re racist.”

The state’s GOP chairman, Tim Schneider, disavowed the post Sunday night.

“Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and further divides our nation,” Mr. Schneider said, adding, “I urge everyone who opposes them to keep the rhetoric focused on policy and ideology.”



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How Boris Johnson and girlfriend Carrie will put Queen in an awkward position

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BORIS JOHNSON is preparing to move his girlfriend Carrie Symonds into Downing Street with him this weekend. But the couple are set to shake up royal protocol later in the summer.

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