"We have no proof that Elizabeth Warren's great great great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith [Crawford] either is or is not of Cherokee descent'".
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., directly addressed her Native American heritage in a speech to the National Congress of American Indians on Wednesday in Washington - dealing head-on with claims that have frequently been ridiculed by President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Warren apparently changed her mind about appearing at the summit and made a surprise appearance on Wednesday, addressing allegations that she has lied about her ancestry.
Yet one claim Warren did not address Wednesday involves the 1984 Native American cookbook Pow Wow Chow and Warren's submission of several family recipes, namely "Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing" and "Cold Omelets with Crab Meat".
She accused Trump of reducing native history to "the butt of a joke" at her expense, and twisting native history - something that she says has been done before.
"I get why some people think there's hay to be made here", she said.
"You won't find my family members on any rolls, and I'm not enrolled in a tribe", Sen.
Scott Brown (D-Mass.) accused his Dem challenger of wrongly claiming Native American heritage to get ahead; Warren countered that she'd heard family stories of Cherokee and DE heritage.
The senator also vowed that she will be a tireless advocate for Native Americans.
"They're gone, but the love they shared, the struggles they endured, the family they built and the story they lived will always be a part of me", she said. In fact, one of her ancestors was Jonathan Crawford, a member of the Tennessee militia who rounded up Cherokees during the infamous Andrew Jackson-ordered Trail of Tears.
Ms Warren has not listed herself as Native American since joining the Senate in 2013. I want to especially apologize to the over 350,000 citizens of Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band. But make no mistake - the senator and her team now see the president's disrespect as an advantage.
"I'm here today to make a promise: Every time someone brings up my family's story, I'm going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities", she said.
"Oral history of the Mattaponi tribe indicates that she was ripped away from her first husband and child and raped in captivity", Warren said, adding that she pledged to champion Native American issues.
"This is another media stunt by Warren to gain national exposure for her presidential run", added Diehl, who served as a top MA campaign official for Donald Trump's presidential run. Diehl questioned. "This is another media stunt by Warren to gain national exposure for her presidential run".
The type of violence Jackson and his allies perpetrated on Indian tribes "remains part of life today" for Native Americans on and off Indian reservations, Warren said, noting that more than half of Native American women have experienced sexual violence.