‘I think I can beat her’: Lindsey Graham says a DNA test will prove he has more ‘Cherokee Indian’ ties than Elizabeth Warren

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Lindsey Graham said he plans to take a DNA test to prove he has more Cherokee heritage than Elizabeth Warren.
  • He told “Fox and Friends” his grandmother may have been part Cherokee Native American.
  • Native American tribes don’t generally consider DNA tests relevant to establishing tribal heritage. Graham and Warren are taking on the challenge on Trump’s terms.

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham thinks he has more Cherokee heritage than Elizabeth Warren, and he plans to take a DNA test he says will prove it.

“I’m going to take a DNA test,” he told “Fox and Friends” Tuesday. “I’ve been told my grandmother was part Cherokee Indian. It may be just talk. But you’re gonna find out in a couple of weeks.”

On Monday, Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, revealed the results of a DNA test she said bolsters her claims of Native American ancestry. The report indicates she had a Native American ancestor between six and 10 generations ago.

Many scientists believe DNA tests are imprecise, and Native American groups generally don’t consider them relevant in claiming tribal heritage anyway.

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said in a statement Monday. “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong.”

But Warren and Graham are discussing their claims of Native American heritage on Trump’s terms rather than those of Native Americans. In July, President Trump challenged Warren to prove her “Indian” heritage with a DNA test, saying he would give $US1 million to a charity of her choice if she did. (Trump has since reneged on his promise to make the donation.) Warren’s test was a response to that challenge.

Graham said he hadn’t given much thought to the story of his own apparent Native American ancestry, but he now plans to take a DNA test in an attempt to find out.

“I didn’t think about it much, but if she’s less than one tenth of one per cent, I think I can beat her,” Graham said.

Graham said he was treating the test like a “reality TV” moment, and wanted “a casino and a million bucks” from Trump if the DNA test suggested he had Native American heritage.

He said he would reveal the results on “Fox and Friends.”

“I’m going to take it, but the results are going to be revealed here,” he said. “This is my Trump moment.”

Graham ended the interview with an insult to Iranians.

“I’ll probably be Iranian,” he said. “That would be, like, terrible.”

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