Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said President Donald Trump used a “racist slur” Monday when he repeated his “Pocahontas” nickname for her at an event honoring Native American veterans.
Trump referred to Warren indirectly as “Pocahontas” at an event Monday afternoon for Navajo code talkers, the veterans who played a key role in the U.S. military’s communications efforts in the Pacific during World War II.
“You were here long before any of us were, although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas,” Trump told the group.
Trump developed the nickname for Warren during his campaign for president in 2016 and has used it on several occasions since, apparently to draw attention to her claim before she took office of having Native American heritage. Warren has defended the claim, which came under scrutiny during her 2012 Senate campaign.
On Monday, in an interview with PBS NewsHour hours after Trump’s event, Warren slammed Trump for using a “racist slur.”
“This was supposed to be a ceremony honoring Native Americans who had done incredible work on behalf of the United States, that had saved countless lives,” Warren said. “And Donald Trump just couldn’t make it through without adding a racist slur to the event.”
Warren added: “I know he thinks that somehow doing that is going to shut me up. But it hasn’t worked in the past, and it’s sure not going to work in the future.”
Donald Trump used an event honoring Native American veterans Monday to take a shot at Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, repeating his nickname for her of “Pocahontas.”
The Massachusetts Democrat also took issue with Trump’s appointment of White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Trump named Mulvaney as acting chief of the agency Friday, after CFPB’s director Richard Cordray resigned. The agency’s deputy director, Leandra English, filed a lawsuit Sunday claiming she is the legal acting director, not Mulvaney. Both officials showed up for work Monday at the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters as the case plays out in court.
The law is clear on who is in charge when there’s a vacancy at the top of the agency, Warren said.
“Congress said in the language that was signed into law that when the director is unavailable, [the] deputy director becomes the acting director. No gap, no appointment,” Warren said.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters earlier Monday that the CFPB’s general counsel believes Mulvaney has legal standing to lead the agency.
But Warren criticized Trump for naming Mulvaney — a vocal critic of the CFPB — as the agency’s acting director.
The agency is ”the cop on the beat for American families,” Warren said. Trump is “trying to push in Mulvaney, who says he doesn’t want the agency to do it’s basic job.”
Warren first proposed creating a financial watchdog agency in 2007, when she was a professor at the Harvard Law School. The agency was created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law Congress passed in 2010. Warren was in charge of setting up the agency for the Obama administration.
The agency writes rules and regulations to protect Americans from harmful financial products and enforces consumer protection laws. It has recovered $12 billion from financial companies and handled more than 1.2 million consumer complaints since launching in 2011.