In context: Donald Trump's $1 million offer to Elizabeth Warren
President Donald Trump holds a rally on July 5, 2018, in Great Falls, Mont. (AP/Jim Urquhart) President Donald Trump holds a rally on July 5, 2018, in Great Falls, Mont. (AP/Jim Urquhart)

President Donald Trump holds a rally on July 5, 2018, in Great Falls, Mont. (AP/Jim Urquhart)

Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson October 15, 2018

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., punched back at President Donald Trump on Oct. 15 when she released DNA test results showing that she has a Native American ancestor. Trump and Warren had sparred ever since Trump began calling her "Pocahontas" for saying on law school faculty forms that she had Native American ancestry, citing family lore from Oklahoma.

The report, written by Carlos Bustamante, a professor of biomedical data science at Stanford University, said that Warren has a Native American ancestor "likely in the range of 6-10 generations ago."

Warren’s decision to take a DNA test and release the results called to mind something Trump had said during a July 5 rally in Great Falls, Mont. -- that he would personally give $1 million to Warren’s favorite charity if she took a DNA test.

In a tweet, Warren urged Trump to send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.

 

But Trump wasn’t impressed. During remarks to reporters at the White House, he responded to a question about the $1 million pledge by saying, "I didn't say that. I think you better read it again."

So we did. Here’s the transcript of the relevant portion of Trump’s Montana rally:

"I shouldn't tell you because I like to not give away secrets. But let's say I'm debating Pocahontas. I promise you I'll do this: I will take, you know those little kits they sell on television for two dollars? ‘Learn your heritage!’ … And in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims that she is of Indian heritage because her mother said she has high cheekbones — that is her only evidence, her mother said we have high cheekbones. We will take that little kit -- but we have to do it gently. Because we're in the #MeToo generation, so I have to be very gentle. And we will very gently take that kit, and slowly toss it, hoping it doesn't injure her arm, and we will say: ‘I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you're an Indian.’ And let’s see what she does. I have a feeling she will say no. But we’ll hold that for the debates. Do me a favor and keep it within this room, because I don’t want to keep any secrets."

So Trump did say he would give $1 million to a charity of Warren’s choice, but he said he would do it while engaging with Warren in a political debate, presumably for president. We’ll leave it up to readers to decide whether this was a serious suggestion or a hypothetical scenario to amuse the crowd.

Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter

Our Sources

Office of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Bustamante report, Oct. 10, 2018

Donald Trump, rally in Great Falls, Mont., July 5, 2018

Donald Trump, remarks to reporters, Oct. 15, 2018

Elizabeth Warren, tweet, Oct. 15, 2018

Washington Post, "Trump promised $1 million to charity if Warren proved her Native American DNA. Now he denies it," Oct. 15, 2018

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Louis Jacobson

In context: Donald Trump's $1 million offer to Elizabeth Warren