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Elizabeth Warren still scrambling to explain her Native American minority claim

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Massachusetts Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren is still scrambling to explain why she once claimed to be a Native American minority.

The Harvard Law professor is now claiming she knows she has American Indian blood because a female relative told her that her grandfather had “high cheek bones like all the Indians do.”

“And she said, ‘your mother got those same great cheekbones,” Warren told local news reporters in response to questions about her heritage.

The Democratic candidate’s troubles began last week when it was revealed that Harvard once described Warren as a Native American minority. Warren doesn’t publicly refer to herself that way.

It was also revealed that Warren described herself as a Native American minority in professional law school directories during the 1980s and ’90s.

Warren immediately denied that she briefly considered herself a Native American minority to help advance her career when schools were looking to boost minority hires.

On Wednesday the Boston Herald reported that Warren now claims she did this to meet others with Native American ancestry.

“I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am,” Warren said. “Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off.”

Prominent Native Americans have called on Warren to prove her ancestry claims.

“Once you put that down, you better be able to defend it,” Ray Ramirez of the Native American Rights Fund told The Daily Caller on Monday.

And former Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell told The Daily Caller in an interview Tuesday, “I think if she used it just to get some kind of advantage — whatever it was — like a job application or something, then that’s probably not appropriate.”

Warren’s campaign this week claimed that the Democrat’s great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee, counting as 1/32nd of the candidate’s total ancestry.

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