John McCain tells Trump that saying 'Pocahontas' in front of Navajo code-talkers is an 'insult to genuine American heroes' - and Elizabeth Warren calls insult 'a disgusting low'

  • President Donald Trump honored Navajo code talkers at the White House
  • They were instrumental in fooling the Nazis and Japan using unbroken code from their native language
  • ?During his remarks the president once again mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren as 'Pocahontas'
  • ?Trump regularly mocks her for having claimed Native American ancestry
  • He made the remark while placing his arm on one of the honorees
  • Warren shot back at the president for making a 'racial slur'

John McCain attacked Donald Trump's use of the slur 'Pocahontas' an 'insult to genuine American heroes' Tuesday as its target, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren, said it was 'a disgusting low'.

The Arizona Republican tweeted - without mentioning the president - after Trump used a reception on Monday for surviving Navajo code-talkers to insult Warren over her?

Trump hailed the strength and bravery of World War II Navajo 'code-talkers' at the White House – where he also mocked Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren as 'Pocahontas.'

Trump regularly ripped Warren, a leading liberal adversary, as 'Pocahontas' on the campaign trail for having previously claimed Native American ancestry.

On Monday, the president decided to air the attack one more time alongside aging Native American veterans who helped fight fascism, in a White House ceremony attended by White House chief of staff John Kelly and other officials.

'You were here long before any of us were here,' Trump told the honorees. 'Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas,' Trump said.

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President Trump hailed World War II Navajo code-talkers in the Oval Office on Monday in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, led violent campaigns against Native Americans

President Trump hailed World War II Navajo code-talkers in the Oval Office on Monday in front of a portrait of Sen. Andrew Jackson, led violent campaigns against Native Americans

Intervention: John McCain, seen on Capitol Hill on Monday evening, used his twitter account to attack the president?

Intervention: John McCain, seen on Capitol Hill on Monday evening, used his twitter account to attack the president?

During his remarks, Trump recalled a time when Kelly asked him: 'How good were these code talkers?'

'He said sir, you have no idea. You have no idea what they've done for this country. And the strength and the bravery and the love that they have for the country. That was the ultimate statement from General Kelly on the importance.'

The president spoke as code-talkers stood by him at a podium, while another was seated in a wheelchair.

McCain waited until Tuesday morning to deliver his condemnation on Twitter.

'Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to the Navajo Code Talkers, whose bravery, skill & tenacity helped secure our decisive victory over tyranny & oppression during WWII. Politicizing these genuine American heroes is an insult to their sacrifice,' said the senator, who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

His intervention came after the Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation rebuked Trump, telling CNN: 'This was a day to honor them, and to insert something like that, the word Pocahontas as a jab to a senator, you know, that belongs on the campaign trail.

'That doesn’t belong in the room when our war heroes are being honored.

Warren herself appeared on a series of television shows to respond to Trump and used her Facebook account to call it 'a disgusting low'.

Shortly before midnight on Monday she posted: 'This afternoon, in the Oval Office, Donald Trump was supposed to be honoring Navajo code talkers – American heroes who helped save the world from fascism and hate during World War II.?

'Instead, Trump stood right next to those Native American war heroes and came after me with another racist slur. He did this because he thinks that he can bully me and shut me up. He thinks he can bully and silence anybody he wants.?

'Just to be clear: I learned about my family’s heritage the same way everyone else does – from my parents and grandparents. I never asked for and never got any benefit from it.

Whether she 'got any benefit' has been the subject of political controversy with some Republicans claiming?

Harvard Law listed Warren as Native American after she listed herself as a minority in a?Association of American Law Schools directory.

It became a campaign issue in her 2012 Senate race when opponent Scott Brown accused her of falsely claiming to be Native American.?

Peter MacDonald, a WWII veteran and former chairman of the Navajo tribe, gave introductory remarks by going through the history of the code talkers in the Pacific theater, including at the battles at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.?

Warren immediately shot back at the president for making a 'racial slur.'?

President Donald Trump reacts as he honours Navajo Code Talkers for their contributions during World War Two at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017

President Donald Trump reacts as he honours Navajo Code Talkers for their contributions during World War Two at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017

President Donald Trump greets Navajo Code Talkers as he honours their contributions during World War Two as they take part in an event at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017

President Donald Trump greets Navajo Code Talkers as he honours their contributions during World War Two as they take part in an event at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017

President Donald Trump mocked?Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as 'Pocahontas' at a ceremony honoring Native Americans

President Donald Trump mocked?Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as 'Pocahontas' at a ceremony honoring Native Americans

?Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts shot back on Twitter.

'What @RealDonaldTrump said about my partner @SenWarren is a slur. It disparages the Native American war heroes, standing right beside the President, who risked their lives to protect his right to make such a disgusting comment,' Markey wrote.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, asked why Trump felt the need to make the point at the ceremony, said: 'I think what most people find offensive is Sen. Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.'

She said Trump had an 'extreme amount of value and respect for these individuals.'

'I don't think that it is' a racial slur to use the term Pocahontas, she said.?

The remark got met with silence when the president made it.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren blasted Trump for using a 'racial slur,' something his press secretary said he didn't do

Sen. Elizabeth Warren blasted Trump for using a 'racial slur,' something his press secretary said he didn't do

During the war, the code-talkers radioed messages using a code derived from their native language. They used words for war chief, braided hair, and hummingbird that was the only unbroken military code in history, the Associated Press reported.?

Warren also told MSNBC: 'This was supposed to be an event to honor heroes. People who put it all on the line for our country. And people who because of their incredible work saved the lives of countless Americans and our allies. It is deeply unfortunate that the president of the United States cannot make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur.'

She added: 'Donald Trump does this over and over thinking somehow he's going to shut me up with it, it hadn't worked in the past it is not going to work in the future.'

Attending the event were Marine code talkers Fleming Begay Sr., who is designated an honorary chair of Native Americans for Trump, Thomas H. Begay, Roy Hawthorne, Samuel Holiday, and Alfred Newman.?

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