Trump uses ‘Pocahontas’ as alleged slur

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTON: United States President Donald Trump said there was a "Pocahontas" in the US Congress during a meeting on Monday with Native American World War II veterans in an apparent derogatory reference to Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

After listening to one veteran speak at length about his experience, Mr Trump heaped praise on the veterans and said he would not give prepared remarks himself.

"You were here long before any of us were here," he said.

"Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas."

He had repeatedly referred to Mrs Warren as "Pocahontas," the name of a famous 17th-century Native American, during his presidential campaign in a mocking reference to her having said in the past that she had Native American ancestry.

Mrs Warren, one of the Senate's most prominent liberal Democrats, is a noted legal scholar who served as an adviser to former President Barack Obama before she was elected to the Senate in 2012.

"It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the US cannot even make it through a ceremony honouring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur," Mrs Warren said.

White House spokesman Sarah Sanders disputed the characterisation of Mr Trump's remark as a racial slur.

"I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career," she said.