Aug 19, 2019

Elizabeth Warren to Native Americans: "I am sorry"

2020 contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told a forum of Native American voters in Iowa Monday that she's "sorry" for harm she's caused the community.

Between the lines: According the Des Moines Register's Ledyard King and Shelby Fleig, 2020 Democrats are heavily courting Native American voters in swing states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina.

"Now, before I go any further in this, I want to say this: Like anyone who's been honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned, a lot. And I am grateful for the many conversations that we've had together. It is a great honor to be able to partner with Indian Country, and that’s what I’ve tried to do as a senator and that’s what I promise I will do as president of the United States of America."
— Warren

The big picture: Warren has drawn backlash in recent years for overselling her Native American ancestry. As a senator, Warren claimed that Cherokee ancestry was a recurring point in her family's stories and that she was "proud" of the relation, but many questioned the claim.

  • A DNA test later showed Warren to be between 1/32 and 1/1,024 Native American, with "strong evidence" indicating she had a Native American ancestor 6–10 generations ago.

The heritage claim had become a point of jeering for President Trump, who nicknamed her "Pocahontas" and claimed she had used a false minority status to get her former teaching role at Harvard Law School.

  • In a 1996 letter responding to criticism of a lack of minority women at the university, Harvard did dub Warren as Native American.
  • Warren also claimed minority status in 1986 when registering for the Texas State Bar Association.
  • There is no indication that the claim ever had an influence on Warren’s employment, per a Boston Globe investigation last year.

Of note: According to reporting from The Intercept's Ryan Grim, Warren had already apologized privately to Cherokee leadership.

Go deeper: Elizabeth Warren on the issues, in under 500 words

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Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.