Sunday 22 September 2019

Donald Trump refers to Elizabeth Warren as 'Pocahontas' during meeting with Native Americans

U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he honours Navajo Code Talkers for their contributions during World War Two at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he honours Navajo Code Talkers for their contributions during World War Two at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after speaking about tax legislation at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
President Donald Trump, right, meets with Navajo Code Talkers Peter MacDonald, center, and Thomas Begay, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Elizabeth Warren

Rozina Sabur

Donald Trump has been criticised for using a racial slur during an event honouring Native American veterans.

The US president was welcoming three Navajo code talkers from the Second World War to the Oval Office on Monday afternoon when he referred to Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator, as "Pocahontas".

During remarks praising their service, he said: "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."

Two Second World War Navajo "code talkers" stood at the podium, with a third seated in a wheelchair as Mr Trump made the remarks, which were greeted with awkward silence.

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after speaking about tax legislation at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after speaking about tax legislation at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

They were among 29 young volunteers from the Navajo tribe who joined the Marines in 1942 and created a secret code for the military using the Navajo language as a code.

The president has repeatedly mocked the Massachusetts senator for claims she made about being part Native American.

In response, Ms Warren said on MSNBC: "It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honouring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur."

Defending Mr Trump's remarks, the White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said: "I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage.

President Donald Trump, right, meets with Navajo Code Talkers Peter MacDonald, center, and Thomas Begay, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump, right, meets with Navajo Code Talkers Peter MacDonald, center, and Thomas Begay, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

"The president finds an extreme amount of value and respect in these individuals."

Mr Trump first used the phrase during the 2016 presidential election, in which Ms Warren was running as a candidate for the Democratic nomination.

In 2012 Ms Warren claimed she had Native American heritage, citing "family stories" passed down through generations as evidence.

"I am very proud of my heritage," she told NPR in 2012. "These are my family stories. This is what my brothers and I were told by my mom and my dad...This is our lives. And I'm very proud of it." 

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren

Telegraph.co.uk

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