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Elizabeth Warren's striking speech responding to Trump's "Pocahontas" taunts

Elizabeth Warren's striking speech responding to Trump's

Warren told the basics of the Pocahontas story, noting specifically her suffering at the hands of early English settlers.

Warren, who was raised in Oklahoma, said her father's parents objected to her parents' marriage because her mother "was part Cherokee and part DE".

The Republican National Committee noticed Warren's speech, calling her "Fauxcahontas" in a message to reporters and citing reports questioning the validity of her claims about her heritage.

"Let's talk about Pocahontas", was Elizabeth Warren's big line.

Ms. Warren won applause by pointedly invoking one of Mr. Trump's favorite presidents.

"I get why some people think there's hay to be made here", Warren said, per the transcript of her speech.

Warren, 68, is running for re-election to the Senate and is widely considered a possible 2020 presidential contender. "I never used it to advance my career", said Warren. The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column declined in 2016 to rate the assertion as true or false, but noted that "there is no documented proof of Warren's self-proclaimed, partial Native American heritage, which experts have noted is hard to prove to begin with".

At Wednesday's speech, Warren acknowledged that she isn't enrolled in a tribe and that her family isn't included in tribe rolls.

Susan Walsh  AP
Susan Walsh AP

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday forcefully denounced the President's use of "Pocohntas" as an insult against her and discussed some of her family background in an effort to address questions about her Native American heritage. And I want to make something clear.

"And no one - not even the President of the United States - will ever take that part of me away", she said.

"So 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 pledged.

Warren told the gathering of Native American leaders that she would fight against "our country's mistreatment of your communities". As if her defense that she wanted to be listed as a minority to meet other minorities. Careful examination of her words, however, suggests that she left herself plenty of room for plausible deniability. "The joke, I guess is supposed to be me". "Lecturing, raging, and grandstanding can work up your followers on the far left, but that is not the same as serving your constituents".

Warren highlighted the lack of access to the banking system faced by many American Indians, as well as the lack of modern infrastructure on many reservations.

Warren in her remarks also chastised federal lawmakers for letting "their Big Oil buddies pad their profits by encroaching on your land and fouling your rivers and streams", although she stopped short of pointing the finger at Republicans. That was further exacerbated by the event's setting, which took place in the Oval Office where Trump displays a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the former president who forced the removal of tens of thousands of Native Americans from their lands. "Violence remains part of life today".

"Sen. Warren needs to accept responsibility for misappropriating Native identity for her own economic and political gain".

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