Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she could hardly believe it when President Trump attacked her as "Pocahontas" during a White House ceremony to thank World War II Navajo Code Talkers. "This was supposed to be a ceremony honoring war heroes," Warren tells the Washington Post. "All he had to do was smile and thank them for their incredible service. But he couldn't make it through the ceremony without throwing in a racial slur." Trump has accused the Democrat of falsely claiming to have Cherokee heritage. Warren tells CNN that she was told about her heritage in stories from her parents and grandparents. She says contrary to White House accusations, "I never used it to get ahead. I never used it to get into school."
Trump's remarks were strongly criticized by groups such as the National Congress of American Indians, which said his use of the slur overshadowed the purpose of the ceremony, CBS News reports. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday that Trump didn't mean to be offensive with the "Pocahontas" crack. She added that she thought Warren was "very offensive when she lied about something specifically to advance her career." Mihio Manus, a spokesman for the president of the Navajo Nation, tells the Post that the remarks—delivered under a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who signed the Indian Removal Act—were "unfortunate" and they "don't feel any member of any tribal nation should be used as the punchline of a joke." (More Elizabeth Warren stories.)