Trump calls Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ at event honouring Native American veterans
President Donald Trump referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” at an event honouring Native American “code talkers” who served in the Second World War.
“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said Monday. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”
Trump made the comment at the White House while standing beside three Navajos who used their native language to help the U.S. Marine Corps protect communications during the Second World War.
The president’s jab at Warren was met with silence.
Trump has repeatedly used the nickname in an attempt to mock Warren’s Native American heritage. Warren has called the comment a “slur.”
WATCH: Not Trump’s intent to be offensive with ‘Pocahontas’ comment: WH
“It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot make it through a ceremony honouring these heroes without throwing out a racial slur,” Warren said in an interview on MSNBC after the event.
Trump made the remark while standing in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the U.S. president who signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830.
The act allowed presidents to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within state borders. Jackson’s anti-indigenous policies led to the forced removal of Native Americans across the U.S. and the “Trail of Tears”, which resulted in the deaths of thousands.
WATCH: Elizabeth Warren calls Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ comment at event honouring Native American veterans ‘disturbing’
The president also referred to White House chief of staff John Kelly as “chief.”
“He’s the general and the chief,” Trump said during the event. “I said, ‘how good were these code talkers?’ He said, ‘sir, you have no idea. You have no idea how great they were.’”
Jefferson Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians, questioned the “use of the name Pocahontas as a slur … Once again, we call upon the president to refrain from using her name in a way that denigrates her legacy.”
“With the election long over, we hoped that President Trump would refrain from using this name as a pejorative term and other such terms that insult Native peoples and degrade their cultures in order to score political points,” said NCAI President Brian Cladoosby.
WATCH: White House denies Trump made slur with ‘Pocahontas’ remark
— With file from Reuters
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