U.S. President Donald Trump has long been a fan of insulting Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren by calling her Pocahontas over her claim that she has Native American ancestry. Now that Warren has decided to throw her name in the ring for a 2020 presidential run against the incumbent Commander in Chief, the vitriol has only been stepped up by Trump.
On Saturday, shortly after Warren officially announced her bid for the presidency, Trump took to Twitter with an apparent reference to the Trail of Tears, according to CNN Politics. The Trail of Tears refers to a horrific period in history for Native Americans who were displaced from their homelands and forced to relocate, leaving thousands of them dead.
“Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!” Trump tweeted.
Many believed that the president’s use of his favorite key, the caps lock button, on the word “trail” was a rather thinly veiled reference to the genocide that claimed so many Native American lives.
Apparently, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, found the horrendous racial reference to be amusing. He took to Instagram with a screenshot of his father’s tweet, along with a shocking response from another user, which he captioned with “Savage!!!” and declaring his love for the president.
New Mexico Democratic Rep. Deb Haaland, who is one of the first Native Americans to be representing in Congress, blasted the president for his cruel remarks.
“He is just completely ignorant when it comes to Native Americans, Native American history,” Haaland said.
“It’s exhausting, right? It’s completely exhausting to try to keep up with so much of his ignorance and racism for native people.”
Although Warren has also been called out by Native American leaders for trying to use their history as a leg up, they have taken even more issue with the president’s insistence on calling her Pocahontas as an insult. Last year, in an effort to prove her ancestry, Warren took a DNA test, which, while proving she has some distant Native American ancestry, only backfired on her.
She later apologized to the National Congress of American Indians, saying that she “is not a person of color or member of a tribe.” Some are worried that her false claims could impact her campaign negatively.