The White House held an event today (Nov. 27) to honor Native American veterans who worked as code talkers in World War II, protecting secret information by communicating it in their native languages. Trump did not miss the opportunity to throw in his own poorly coded racial joke.
One of the honorees, Peter MacDonald, of the Navajo tribe, took the podium, conveniently placed in front of a portrait of president Andrew Jackson, who signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. After MacDonald described the war effort, President Trump praised the work of the code talkers and recalled a conversation he had with chief of staff John Kelly, in which he asked “how good” the code talkers really were.
“He said sir, you have no idea,” Trump recounted of Kelly’s reply. “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.”
“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump told the men being honored, presumably referring to the Navajo people generally.
Then Trump threw in a quick racial slur directed at Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren: “We have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”