Sen. John McCain on Tuesday fired back at President Trump for insulting the sacrifice of Native American veterans after he made a “Pochahontas” comment at a White House event.
Mr. Trump referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as “Pochahontas” at an event on Monday honoring World War II Navajo code talkers. Critics have condemned the remark as being inappropriate and having racial connotations.
The president has repeatedly jabbed at Warren over her self-proclaimed Native American heritage.
During World War II the Marine Corps enlisted Native Americans to send coded messages in the Pacific Theater. Japanese cryptographers were unable to decipher what they thought was an elaborate American code.
“I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people,” Trump said Monday, speaking to a small group of code talkers. “You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who, they say, was here a long time ago. They call her ‘Pocahontas.’ ”
The comments took place in front of a portrait of President Andrew Jackson, who signed into law the Indian Removal Act.
McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Vietnam War veteran, has clashed regularly with the president on issues relates to the military and veterans. The Arizona Republican was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs from 2005-2007.