By Ian Sloan 11/29/2017

President Donald Trump referenced his nickname for Senator Elizabeth Warren, “Pocahontas,” during an event at the White House honoring Navajo Code Talkers.  Native American groups have called the comment a racial slur.

“The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said. “As Native Americans, we are proud people who have taken care of this land long before there was the United States of America and we will continue to fight for this Nation.”

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The comment was met with awkward silence from event attendees. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday the use of “Pocahontas” was not a racial slur and that it “certainly was not the President’s intent” to use a racial slur.

 President Trump has long used that nickname for Senator Warren because of her Native American ancestry. Conservatives have previously criticized Warren for claiming that she is part Native American, and the senator’s heritage became an issue during her Senate campaigns. While President Trump himself has not responded to these claims, his son Eric Trump is calling the accusations “staggering.”

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