You may have survived Thanksgiving with your racist uncle, but President Donald Trump won’t let that feeling of relief last long.
At an event honoring the Navajo code talkers who played a vital role in the U.S. military during World War II, Trump couldn’t stop himself from making a racist dig at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, calling her “Pocahontas.”
After three of the 13 remaining Navajo code talker veterans had the chance to share their history in the Oval Office on Monday, the president got up to give his remarks. The Navajo code talkers served in the Marine corps during World War II, communicating top-secret messages in a code derived from their complex native language.
Trump immediately handed over a binder of his prepared statements to the veterans, and proceeded to go off book. And that can only mean disaster with him.
In his typical image-obsessed fashion, he first complimented the “good genes” of the elderly veterans. Then things got downright offensive.
After admiring the Native American veterans’ long history in the United States, he told them, “we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her ‘Pocahontas.'”
And the moment was as horrifying and awkward as it sounds.
Trump meeting with Navajos at the WH today tells them they have a representative in Congress. “They call her Pocahontas,” he said. @jeffzeleny reports there was an awkward silence
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 27, 2017
The president’s derogatory nickname for Warren stems from the Massachusetts senator’s claims that she has Cherokee ancestors. Although Warren was criticized by the press during her 2012 Senate race for not being able to back up these claims, Trump seems to think it’s okay to make up a racist nickname for her.
And as many have pointed out, it’s not okay.
Extremely good and normal to make native American WWII veterans listen to an ethnic slur while standing near a portrait of Andrew Jackson
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 27, 2017
Some also pointed out the tone deaf juxtaposition of celebrating Native American war heroes in front of a presidential portrait of Andrew Jackson, who was responsible for the death and displacement of many Native Americans, and who also happens to be one of President Trump’s favorite predecessors.
Sen. Warren responded to the president’s remarks on television shortly after the event.
WATCH: Elizabeth Warren responds to Trump’s “Pocahontas” remark on @MSNBC:
“It is deeply unfortunate that the President of the United States cannot even make it through a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur.” pic.twitter.com/au1QntxDzR
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 27, 2017
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had other ideas, telling the press corps that she thought categorizing Trump’s “Pocahontas” jab as a slur was “ridiculous.”