One of the Senate’s leading Republicans joined the mockery of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Indian ancestry with one of the oldest techniques Tuesday — oneupmanship.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said in an interview that he might be more of an Indian than the Massachusetts Democrat widely dubbed “Pocahantas” and “Fauxcahontas” by President Trump and other Republicans.
And he said he’ll prove it.
“I’m going to take a DNA test,” he told “Fox and Friends” on 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.”
Ms. Warren raised the story Monday by releasing a DNA test — a process no American Indian tribe accepts as proof of membership.
The analysis by Stanford University geneticist Carlos Bustamante showed she probably had an Indian ancestor somewhere from six to 10 generations before her — at least one and perhaps two centuries before her 1949 birth, a tenuous relationship that no tribe would accept as sufficient for membership.
In other words, she likely is 1/64th to 1/1,024th Indian, or 0.09 to 1.5 percent.
But a 2014 study by Harvard University and 23andMe said European-Americans on average have 0.18 percent American Indian blood, meaning Ms. Warren might be less Indian than the typical American who identifies as “white.”
Enter Mr. Graham.
In his “Fox and Friends” interview, he said he had given little thought to the family lore — also the initial source of Ms. Warren’s claims — but is now curious.
“I didn’t think about it much, but if she’s less than one tenth of one percent, I think I can beat her,” he said.
He told his “Fox and Friends” hosts that he would reveal the results on their show and compared the test to a “reality TV” script.
“I’m going to take it, but the results are going to be revealed here,” he said. “This is my Trump moment.”
There are risks in taking the tests, he acknowledged.
“I’ll probably be Iranian,” he said. “That’d be, like, terrible.”
• Valerie Richardson contributed to this article.