Trump again calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' this time at event honoring Native Americans

President Donald Trump, right, meets with Navajo Code Talkers Peter MacDonald, center, and Thomas Begay, left, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump referred to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" Monday at an event intended to honor Native American veterans.

None of the three "code talkers," all of whom served in World War II, responded to the derisive comment. Members of the Navajo tribe, the trio once assisted the U.S. Marine Corp. in developing codes.

"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," Trump said. "They call her Pocahontas."

This isn't the first time Trump has dubbed Warren with the term. Citing her "phony Native American heritage," the president has referred to the Massachusetts lawmaker as "Pocahontas" on numerous occasions.

Members of the Native American community have labeled the comments offensive. Some Democrats and advocates view them as racist.

Warren was quick to denounce the president's rhetoric. In an interview on MSNBC, she called it "deeply unfortunate."

"This was supposed to be an event to honor heroes, people who put it all on the line for our country, who, because of their incredible work, saved the lives of countless Americans and our allies," Warren said. "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."

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told press that the nickname was not derogatory. Speaking at the White House daily press briefing, Sanders asserted that the label was "not a racial slur."

After being listed as Native American at Harvard University, Warren faced scrutiny over her ancestry during and after her 2012 campaign for Senate. Though she self-identifies as a Cherokee and Delaware Indian descendant, some critics say there is not sufficient evidence of her lineage.

Warren has not provided official documentation of her claims. Instead, she has cited multiple family stories heard as a child.

She and Trump have feuded bitterly, with tensions only escalating during Trump's ascent to the Oval Office. With Warren an outspoken supporter of Democratic nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the pair traded increasingly harsh insults over Twitter.

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