FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s “Pocahontas” political jab at an event honoring Navajo Code Talkers (all times local):
Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is tweeting that President Donald Trump’s “politicizing” of a ceremony honoring Native American veterans was “an insult to their sacrifice.”
McCain doesn’t cite the president by name in his tweet Tuesday. He says the nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Navajo Code Talkers for helping secure victory over tyranny and oppression during World War II. He then adds: “Politicizing these genuine American heroes is an insult to their sacrifice.”
During a White House event Monday, Trump revived past mocking comments he’s made about Sen. Elizabeth Warren for claims she made about being part Native American. Trump said: “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.”
Families of Navajo war veterans say they’re dumbfounded that President Donald Trump took a political jab at a U.S. senator at an event honoring Navajo Code Talkers. Trump praised the Code Talkers at the White House on Monday. He also turned to a nickname he’s often deployed for Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts: Pocahontas.
Relatives of the Code Talkers say the comment was inappropriate and distracted from the men’s work that helped the U.S. win World War II. Pocahontas is a well-known historical figure who bridged her own Pamunkey Tribe in present-day Virginia with the British in the 1600s.
The largest organization representing American Indians says Trump wrongly turned the name into a derogatory term. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the president didn’t intend it as a racial slur.