In a ceremony honoring the Native American World War II veterans known as the “Navajo Code Talkers,” President Trump referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as “Pocahontas,” a slur he frequently employs about the outspoken Democrat. The joke came after days of criticism by Warren over the president’s handling of the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFPB), which currently has two acting directors.
“You’re very very special people. You were here long before any of us were here,” President Trump said to the veterans in the white house ceremony. “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. Because you are special.”
“It’s deeply unfortunate that President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur,” responded Warren during an MSNBC interview shortly afterwards.
Trump has long-standing claims against Warren’s heritage, but they are difficult to prove or disprove, says The Washington Post. He has frequently refered to Warren as “Pocahontas,” not only on the campaign trail, but also since being elected to office. And it’s not a nickname, says the National Congress of American Indians, it’s a slur.
But the real issue isn’t name-calling so much as its about the leadership of the CFPB. The agency has been headed by dueling interim-directors since Friday, and a senior official filed a lawsuit late Sunday to prevent Trump form naming an acting director of the watchdog group. Obama-era director Richard Cordray resigned on Friday, promoting his former chief of staff, Leandra English, the interim director position. Shortly after, the Trump administration named budget chief Mick Mulvaney to the same post. Mulvaney has been critical of the agency in the past, and has sought to eliminate it.