White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders countered media and political narratives during Monday’s press conference, calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren offensive for falsely claiming Native American heritage in pursuit of career advancement.
Sanders was asked about President Trump’s words during a White House event that day with Navajo Code Talkers, during which he made a thinly veiled joke about Sen. Elizabeth Warren, referring to her as “Pocahontas.”
Warren bit on the President’s comments, calling the jab “racist,” then using it to elicit donors’ money.
“Why did he feel the need to say something as offensive to many people while honoring the Navajo Code Talkers — these genuine, American heroes?” one reporter asked Sanders during the press conference.
“I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career,” replied Sanders.
The “Pocahontas” nickname has been used in reference to Warren’s now debunked claim of Native American heritage. As a professor, she falsely claimed she was a minority and was listed as a minority professor in academic directories.
“But she said it was a racial slur. She said it was a racial slur. What is your response to that?” the reporter pressed on.
“I think that’s a ridiculous response,” replied Sanders.
Another reporter piled on with reference to the Navajo Code Talkers, members of the “Greatest Generation,” and internet critics: “… the moment had many people online asking whether the President lacks decency. What’s your response to that notion?”
Sanders pointed out that the President greatly values the Code Talkers and that is “why he brought them and invited them to come to the White House and spend time with them, recognizing them, and honoring them today.”
At the Code Talkers White House event, Trump employed his Warren joke in paying compliments to the code talkers, expressing his appreciation for their bravery and love of country.
Yet another reporter joined in, employing Warren’s rhetoric, “Why is it appropriate for the President to use a racial slur in any context?”
“I don’t believe that it is appropriate for him to make a racial slur or anybody else,” replied Sanders.
The reporter shot back that “a lot of people feel” that the term was a “racial slur.” She then repeated her question, “So why is it appropriate for him to use that?”
“Like I said, I don’t think that it is, and I don’t think that was — certainly not the President’s intent,” Sanders retorted.
The reporter rephrased the question, “Does he see political value in calling people out racially?”
Sanders again pointed to Warren’s “very offensive” lie in claiming to be “something specifically to advance her career.” She further questioned why they weren’t asking about Warren’s Native American heritage lie, “I don’t understand why no one is asking about that question and why that isn’t constantly covered.”
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