During an event with Native American code talkers at the White House on Monday afternoon, President Trump deployed a racist slur against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), calling her “Pocahontas.”
Standing beside some of the few surviving Native Americans who served during World War II, Trump said, “You’re very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”
“But you know what? I like you, because you are special,” Trump continued.
Pres. Trump at event honoring Native American code talkers: "We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas." https://t.co/opyDjrpBLu pic.twitter.com/7Acmjnzwee
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 27, 2017
Trump has repeatedly employed the slur against Warren.
Pocahontas is at it again! Goofy Elizabeth Warren, one of the least productive U.S. Senators, has a nasty mouth. Hope she is V.P. choice.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2016
Goofy Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, pretended to be a Native American in order to advance her career. Very racist!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2016
But Trump’s use of the slur during an event meant to honor Native Americans, in the Oval Office of the White House, was unprecedented.
During an appearance on MSNBC shortly after the event, Warren reacted to Trump’s comments, saying, “It is deeply unfortunate that the President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur.”
“Look, Donald Trump does this over and over thinking someone he’s going to shut me up with it — it hasn’t worked in the past, it’s not going to work in the future,” she added.
If Trump’s remarks weren’t troubling enough, Monday’s Oval Office event with the Native American code talkers was held in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, whose Indian Removal Act led to the deaths of 4,000 Cherokee and Creek tribe members.
In March, Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan to visit Jackson’s Tennessee home.
The White House defended Trump’s use of the slur.
Spokesman for alliance of Native American tribes says Trump's commentary "smacks of racism" and president should "stop using our historical people of significance as a racial slur against one of his opponents."https://t.co/iBTxWWxLwF
— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) November 27, 2017
“I think what most people find offensive is Sen. Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said during a news briefing later Monday afternoon.