Saturday evening, President Donald Trump added to his long history of racist taunts while taking another shot at potential 2020 rival Elizabeth Warren.
Warren, who has claimed Native ancestry (to much controversy), formally announced her bid for the Democratic nomination on Saturday. It was an opportunity for insult that the combative president just couldn’t pass up.
Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2019
“Today, Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President,” Trump tweeted. “Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”
Trump has referred to Warren as “Pocahontas” for years, but this time he decided to throw in a mocking reference to the Trail of Tears, where thousands of Native Americans died while being forced by the U.S. government to relocate.
Swift condemnation followed Trump’s casual reference to Native American genocide, but Fox News’ Brit Hume suggested a convenient excuse for the president: he’s just too ignorant of history to really know what he was doing.
Yes, because Trump is noted for his knowledge of 19th century American history vis a vis the native population. Jeez. https://t.co/WYmvB1jg1O
— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 10, 2019
Trump’s ignorance is well-noted, but in this particular case there is little doubt that he knew what he was referencing. The president has on many occasions has expressed admiration for Andrew Jackson, who ordered the Trail of Tears expulsion of thousands of Native Americans from tribal lands. Trump even keeps a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office.
If there was any doubt about Trump’s historical knowledge of Native American genocide, there’s also the case of his tweet a few weeks (directed once again at Elizabeth Warren) that made reference to the Wounded Knee Massacre.
Trump’s tweet lampooned a campaign video she appeared in, saying that she should have filmed it “from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb.”
. @brithume is saying that Trump isn’t known for his knowledge of 19th century history and that he couldn’t possibly be referencing the trail of tears in this first tweet but just a couple weeks ago he tweeted about Wounded Knee where hundreds of native Americans were massacred. pic.twitter.com/7Ru8PHlkeg
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 10, 2019
So it would seem that, yes, Trump knew exactly what he was doing by tweeting “See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz.”