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29 November 2017, 12:22 | Bernice Figueroa
Native American Leader Slams Trump For 'Culturally Insensitive' Pocahontas Remark
"The President certainly (has) an extreme amount of value and respect for these individuals, which is why he spent time. honoring them today", she continued.
During remarks praising their service, he said: "You were here long before any of us were here".
"You're very, very special people", Trump told the veterans at the White House event.
The use of "Pocahontas" has drawn criticism from many who view it as disrespectful to not only Warren, but to the Native American hero who famously was captured during the U.S.'s colonial era, and who was critical to brokering a peace between Natives and colonialists.
Referring to the concept of Trump's words being a "racial slur", Sanders said: "I think that's a ridiculous response". "Pocahontas was a real person - her name was Matoaka", she said.
After Trump made his Pocahontas reference, he tried to pivot back to the topic at hand: "But you know what", he added, placing his hand on the shoulder of one of the code talkers, "I like you".
Two Second World War Navajo "code talkers" stood at the podium, with a third seated in a wheelchair as Mr Trump made the remarks, which were greeted with awkward silence. "I like you - you are special people". You are really incredible people. "You were here long before any of us were here", Trump said to the code talkers beside him.
At Monday's White House press briefing, Sarah Sanders was asked about the comments and if she thought they were offensive. "I think that Senator Warren was very offensive when she lied about something to advance her career".
"It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States can not even make it through a ceremony honouring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur". And to put in a slur that has become racial - Pocahontas - didn't belong there.
Warren said she believed her family had Cherokee ancestors, though critics have argued that she sought to gain an unfair advantage by claiming Native American roots.
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