On Monday, the White House hosted an event honoring Native American code talkers, who during World War II developed a secret communications system based on their native language that played a crucial role in the war. After initially deferring to his Chief of Staff John Kelly to deliver the ceremony’s remarks, the president took to the lectern to offer a few rambling remarks—including a crack at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), who Trump has frequently targeted as “Pocahontas.”
“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said. “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.” The disparaging remark, a jab at Warren’s controversy over revelations she cited Native American ancestry during her academic career, has been a favorite of the president’s since his campaign days.
Trump’s remarks, which were given in front of a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson, were met with silence.
Warren swiftly responded during an interview on MSNBC, condemning Trump for using an event to honor war heroes to “throw out a racial slur.” She also reiterated her recent comments to Stephen Colbert that despite Trump’s attempts to silence her, the efforts would not work.
“It hasn’t worked in the past,” she said. “It won’t work in the future.”
WATCH: Elizabeth Warren responds to Trump’s “Pocahontas” remark on @MSNBC:
“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.” pic.twitter.com/au1QntxDzR
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 27, 2017
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president, claiming in a press briefing shortly after that what “most people find offensive is Sen. Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.”