White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday it is "ridiculous" for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) to consider "Pocahontas" to be a racial slur.
Sanders was responding to a question about whether it was offensive for President Donald Trump to use the nickname during a White House event honoring World War II code talkers. A reporter said the comment was "offensive to many," but Sanders turned the issue back to Warren’s unsubstantiated claim to Native American heritage.
"I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career," Sanders said.
Another reporter brought up Warren saying on MSNBC, just before the press conference began, that Trump’s nickname constitutes a racial slur. Sanders dismissed the idea.
"I think that is a ridiculous response," she answered, taking another question.
Another reporter then asked about whether Trump’s comment shows a lack of decency toward Navajo code talkers who were being honored.
"I think the president certainly finds an extreme amount of value and respect for these individuals, which is why he invited them to come to the White House and spent time with them in recognizing and honoring them today," Sanders replied.
"He invited them here at the White House today to meet with them and to also remind everybody about what [a] historic role that they played many years ago," she added.
Trump has previously reflected the sentiment in Sanders comments, also saying he calls Warren "Pocahontas" in reference to her unsubstantiated claim to Cherokee heritage.