Trump incorrectly claimed to be Swedish for decades

Trump in Germany
(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

On Monday evening, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) explained — as she has since her successful 2012 campaign to unseat Sen. Scott Brown (R) — that she believes she has Cherokee ancestry because "I learned about my family's heritage the same way everyone else does — from my parents and grandparents. I never asked for and never got any benefit from it." The prompt for this was President Trump trotting out his "Pocahontas" epithet during an event to honor Navajo code talkers, heroes of World War II.

Trump has used his nickname for Warren several times since 2016, usually suggesting incorrectly — as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did on Monday — that Warren used her claimed Native American ancestry for professional gain. Trump himself claimed, wrongly, to be of Swedish heritage as least until 1987 — he wrote in The Art of the Deal that his grandfather had come to the U.S. from Sweden. Actually, The Boston Globe reported last year and Axios recalled on Monday, Trump's father, Fred Trump, made up the Swedish ancestry after World War II so he wouldn't have problems selling apartments to Jewish buyers on account of his German heritage. (Friedrich Trump immigrated to New York from Germany in 1885.)

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