President Donald Trump returned to one of his most derogatory insults Friday, referring to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” — a jab at her Native American ancestry.
Speaking to a cheering crowd of NRA members in Atlanta, Trump said “it may be Pocahontas” who seeks the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. “And she is not big on the NRA,” Trump added, an apparent reference to Warren’s support of gun-control measures.
In his remarks, Trump also took a shot at former President Barack Obama, telling the audience that “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come crashing to an end.”
Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly derided Warren, who frequently stumped for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor and outspoken progressive, has not ruled out a run in 2020.
Trump is not the first politician to use Warren’s heritage as a cudgel.
Former GOP Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, during his 2012 race against Warren, claimed she dishonestly listed herself as Native American while working as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. Warren has denied having disingenuously used her heritage to get an advantage in the workplace.
“I am very proud of my heritage,” Warren told NPR in 2012. “These are my family stories. This is what my brothers and I were told by my mom and my dad, my mamaw and my papaw. This is our lives. And I’m very proud of it.”
The fiery populist has claimed she listed herself as a minority in directories of law professors with the goal of networking with “people like me” — “people for whom Native American is part of their heritage and part of their hearts,” she told reporters in 2012.
In the heat of the 2016 race, Trump suggested Warren was exaggerating or even lying about her background.
“She made up her heritage, which I think is racist. I think she’s a racist, actually because what she did was very racist,” then-candidate Trump told NBC News last June.