Sen. Jon Tester has cast doubt on fellow Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claim that analysis of her DNA proves she has Native American heritage.
“I don’t think that would pass the test, no,” the Montana Democrat said during a visit to the Rocky Boy’s Reservation on Monday, according to The Hill.
Warren released her DNA results earlier this month that concluded she was possibly between 1/1024 and 1/64 Native American after being repeatedly mocked by President Trump and lampooned as "Pocahontas" over her ancestry claims.
Tester, who is a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said he’s more focused on issues affecting Native American communities, who make up a key part of his constituency, than Warren’s claims and dismissed the controversy as a distraction from more important issues.
“That’s a fight between her and Trump, and she can continue to have that fight. The real issue here are the challenges in Indian country, especially the tribes that don’t have gaming,” he said.
“The real issue that revolves around Native American people is poverty, and, unless you’re a gaming tribe, it’s a problem and we’ve got to figure out solutions to get it fixed,” he added.
Tester is running in a Trump-friendly state and has faced repeated attacks from the president. A RealClearPolitics polling average has Tester up 4.2 percentage points against his Republican opponent Matt Rosendale.