Trump makes 'Pocahontas' joke at event honoring Native American veterans

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

At a Monday event honoring the Native American Code Talkers, President Trump revived one of his favorite lines of attack against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., questioning her claim that she’s part Native American and calling her “Pocahontas.”

“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,” Trump said from a podium inside the Oval Office, where he was flanked by Navajo Code Talkers. “They call her ‘Pocahontas.’ But you know what, I like you, because you are special.”

Trump made his remarks standing beneath a portrait of Andrew Jackson, whose military campaigns against Native American tribes in the early 1800s earned him the nickname “Indian Killer.”

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., was quick to come to Warren’s defense.

“What @realDonaldTrump said about my partner @SenWarren is a slur,” Markey tweeted. “It disparages the Native American war heroes, standing right beside the President, who risked their lives to protect his right to make such a disgusting comment.”


Warren responded in an appearance on MSNBC.

“It’s deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot make through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur,” she said.

At the White House, press secretary Sarah Sanders dismissed the idea that Trump’s remark was a racial slur.

“I think what most people find offensive is Sen. Warren lied about her heritage to advance her career,” Sanders said.

In an appearance on “The Late Show” earlier this month, Warren said Trump’s attacks would not deter her from criticizing his administration.

President Trump gestures as he hosts an event honoring the Native American code talkers at the White House on Monday. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

“Donald Trump thinks if he’s going to start every one of these tweets to me with some kind of racist slur here, that he’s going to shut me up,” Warren said. “It didn’t work in the past, it’s not going to work in the future. Give it up.”

On Nov. 3, Trump also referred to Warren as “Pocahontas” while calling on the Department of Justice to investigate Hillary Clinton.


During her Senate campaign in 2012, Warren was dogged by questions about listing herself as a minority in past professional directories. During his 2016 presidential run, Trump frequently brought up the controversy while pushing back against Warren’s broadsides against him.

“She made up her heritage, which I think is racist,” Trump told NBC News in June of that year. “I think she’s a racist, actually, because what she did was very racist.”

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