Trump Makes “Pocahontas” Crack at Elizabeth Warren During Event Honoring Native Americans

The president said it under a portrait of Andrew Jackson.

On Monday, the White House hosted an event honoring Native American code talkers, who during World War II developed a secret communications system based on their native language that played a crucial role in the war. After initially deferring to his Chief of Staff John Kelly to deliver the ceremony’s remarks, the president took to the lectern to offer a few rambling remarks—including a crack at Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), who Trump has frequently targeted as “Pocahontas.” 

“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said. “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.” The disparaging remark, a jab at Warren’s controversy over revelations she cited Native American ancestry during her academic career, has been a favorite of the president’s since his campaign days. 

Trump’s remarks, which were given in front of a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson, were met with silence. 

Warren swiftly responded during an interview on MSNBC, condemning Trump for using an event to honor war heroes to “throw out a racial slur.” She also reiterated her recent comments to Stephen Colbert that despite Trump’s attempts to silence her, the efforts would not work.

“It hasn’t worked in the past,” she said. “It won’t work in the future.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president, claiming in a press briefing shortly after that what “most people find offensive is Sen. Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.”


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.