Donald Trump tweets 'Pocahontas' racist slur about senator Elizabeth Warren

President regularly referred to Democrat using term before he won the presidency

Harriet Agerholm
Friday 03 November 2017 13:11 GMT
Donald Trump tweets racist 'Pocahontas' slur about Senator Elizabeth Warren

Donald Trump has repeated one of his favourite political slurs, referring to the Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" in reference to her self-proclaimed Native American background.

The President regularly referred to Ms Warren using the racist term on the campaign trail, before he won the presidency almost exactly one year ago.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Mr Trump said: "Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept."

Mr Trump has previously said he regrets calling Ms Warren by the name. In an interview with Fox News in June 2016, he said: “I do regret calling her Pocahontas, because I think it’s a tremendous insult to Pocahontas.

"So to Pocahontas, I would like to apologise to you."

Ms Warren has claimed Cherokee and Delaware Indian heritage, although she has not been able to provide documented proof of her ancestry.

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Her claims received intense scrutiny during a 2012 congressional election campaign, when her Republican rival Scott Brown accused her of using distant Native American relatives to gain an unfair advantage when applying for jobs at Harvard Law School and University of Pennsylvania Law School.

In a debate during the campaign, he said: “[Ms Warren] checked the box. She had an opportunity, actually, to make a decision throughout her career. When she applied to Penn and Harvard, she checked the box claiming she was Native American, and, you know, clearly she’s not.”

In her 2014 memoir, A Fighting Chance, Ms Warren said: “I never questioned my family’s stories or asked my parents for proof or documentation. What kid would? … I was stunned by the attacks. How do you prove who you are? My brothers and I knew who we were. We knew our family stories.

"But the Republicans demanded documentation and, back at the turn of the century, nobody in my family had registered any tribal affiliation. In Oklahoma, that was pretty common. But knowing who you are is one thing, and proving who you are is another.”

Mr Trump repeatedly called Ms Warren Pocahontas and suggested she was lying about her background during the 2016 presidential race.

"She made up her heritage, which I think is racist. I think she's a racist, actually because what she did was very racist," he said.

Ms Warren has previously responded to Mr Trump's attacks, saying: "If you think recycling Scott Brown's hate-filled attacks on my family is going to shut me up, @realDonaldTrump, think again buddy. Weak."

She replied on Friday to Mr Trump's latest use of the Pocahontas slur, claiming such posts “won't stop” the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller or “keep your people out of jail”.

Mr Mueller is investigating Mr Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, as part of a probe into possible Russian collusion in Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

Mr Manafort and business associate Rick Gates are under house arrest after pleading not guilty to 12 charges including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the US.

Native American groups have previously condemned Mr Trump's use of the Pocahontas moniker.

Cherokee Nation citizen Mary Kathryn Nagle told MSNBC last year: "Trump’s inability to discern the difference between Senator Warren and Pocahontas is no accident. Instead, his attack on her native identity reflects a dominant American culture that has made every effort to diminish native women to nothing other than a fantastical, oversexualized, Disney character."

Mr Trump's latest tweet comes after Ms Warren said she agreed with a damning report that Ms Clinton controlled aspects of the Democratic Party's infrastructure to her own advantage ahead of the presidential primaries.

The report, by former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Donna Brazile and published in Politico, said Ms Clinton's campaign assumed control of crucial fundraising mechanisms before going on to defeat Bernie Sanders.

The report bolsters an argument made by Mr Sanders's supporters, who argue the political establishment undermined the Vermont Senator's attempt to gain the Democratic nomination. Mr Trump, who has repeatedly alleged Ms Clinton is corrupt, has touted the report's findings.

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