President Donald Trump claims he “didn’t say” that he would pay $1 million to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren for taking DNA test to review her Native American heritage, after she released the results of one on Monday morning.
“Who cares?” Trump said when asked about the DNA test. When pressed on the once-promised $1 million payment, Trump responded: “I didn’t say that. You better read it again.”
In fact, Trump did promise $1 million, during a July rally, but only if the test showed she was “an Indian.”
At a rally in July, Trump said: “And we will say, ‘I will give you a million dollars, paid for by Trump, to your favorite charity if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian … we’ll see what she does. I have a feeling she will say no but we will hold it for the debates.”
Later Monday, Trump said he did not owe Warren the money, saying that was contingent on her winning the nomination.
“If she gets the nomination in the debate where I was going to have her tested,” Trump said.
“I’ll only do it if I can test her personally,” he said. “This is not something I would enjoy doing either.”
Warren has released the results of a DNA analysis showing she has distant Native American ancestry in an apparent attempt to pre-empt further questions and attacks should she run for president in 2020.
Warren first faced scrutiny for her purported Native American heritage during her 2012 Senate race. But Trump has revived and amplified the controversy as he eyes Warren as a possible rival, frequently mocking her with the nickname “Pocahontas.”
But Warren now has documentation to back up her family lore – a analysis of her genetic data performed by Carlos Bustamante, a professor of genetics at Stanford and adviser to Ancestry and 23 and Me.
Bustamante’s analysis places Warren’s Native American ancestor between six and 10 generations ago, with the report estimating eight generations.
Trump also said Warren owes the nation an apology.
“She owes the country an apology,” Trump said when questioned whether he himself owed Warren an apology for calling her “Pocahontas.”
CNN’s Rebecca Berg contributed to this report.