Trump Calls Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" In A Room Full Of Native American Veterans
While honoring a group of Native Americans at an event Monday afternoon, President Trump called Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas," a quip that was reportedly met with pure silence by everyone in the room.
Trump was speaking in the Oval Office to commemorate the service of a group of Navajo Code Talkers, who used a special code during World War II to transmit messages. According to the National Museum of the American Indian, the Navajo Code Talkers were recruited by the Marine Corps in the early 1940s to create a Navajo language code, developing new words for military terms in order to communicate battle messages in secret.
In the White House, Trump told the group, "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."
Trump has been criticized for using "Pocahontas" as a slur against Sen. Warren before. Warren has claimed she has Cherokee and Delaware Indian heritage, but has been unable to prove it with verified documentation. So Trump came up with a nickname and began referring to her as "Pocahontas." He was swiftly rebuked by Native Americans, including Ruth Hopkins, a Dakota/Lakota Sioux and columnist at Indian Country Today, who said Trump was mocking the real Pocahontas and other Native American women.
President Trump just referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" again. This time he was speaking with Navajo code talkers. https://t.co/srVQtbTDlW— (@stephensonnews) #
And if his use of the joke in front of a room full of Native American veterans wasn't bad enough, many people on Twitter pointed out that Trump was actually standing in front of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson when he said it. Jackson, who was president from 1829 to 1837, pushed for the "Indian Removal Act" that forced thousands upon thousands of Native Americans from their homes, killing many in the process.
Immediately after calling Warren "Pocahontas," Trump added:
Like the times Trump has called Warren the name in the past, many people online spoke out about their outrage, calling it disrespectful, disparaging, and disgusting.
"Such A Disgusting Comment"
What @realDonaldTrump said about my partner @SenWarren is a slur. 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.— (@senmarkey) #
"I Am A Veteran"
Here is the clip of Trump making his Pocahontas insult in front of the Navajo Code Talkers. I'm not Navajo, but I am a Veteran. Those men are my most respected elders and should NEVER be disrespected in this manner. https://t.co/KeW8Ek5m7t— (@redtraccoon) #
The disgraceful Trump at an event meant to honor Native American code talkers: "We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas." Children are expelled from school for this type of juvenile behavior https://t.co/uvWtjEgqkH— (@riotwomennn) #
Just when I thought I couldn't be surprised. This is disgusting. https://t.co/jed8jtgAgA— (@kirstenpowers) #
"He Needs To Resign"
Trump met with Navajos at the White House today & he said they have a representative in Congress-"They call her Pocahontas." This was followed by an awkward silence, because it's beyond offensive & disgusting. Trump isn't fit to be president. He needs to resign. #TrumpResign— (@funder) #
"Don't Be Distracted"
What's next? Donald Trump supposed to be honoring a group of Native American code talkers and then calls Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas' #RussiaGate ends this. Don't be distracted, but be very very angry.— (@cryborg) #
"Is This Enough?"
While meeting with Native American code talkers from World War II Trump referred to Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas... is this it... is this enough for #25thAmendmentNow— (@2017gamora) #
Trump just called Senator Warren "Pocahantas" at an event honoring Native American veterans. As a follow up, he's reprising his mocking of a disabled reporter at a commemoration of the passing of the ADA. You know, just to be an equal opportunity asswipe.— (@georgetakei) #
Obama "Did It Better"
did it better, continued spoke to navajo code talkers, was not racist about it— (@owillis) #
Deplorable treatment of these veterans who played a crucial role in WWII: Trump slings racist slur at event to honor Navajo code talkers https://t.co/xsLcZB2d9S via @shareblue— (@leahmcelrath) #
When asked at a White House press briefing about Trump's comments, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders deflected the question, stating "I think what most people find offensive is Sen. Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career."