U.S. President Donald Trump and his eldest son have both taken quick note of Elizabeth Warren’s presidential candidacy and are sharply criticizing the Massachusetts Democrat, citing her past claims to Native American heritage.
Trump tweeted on Saturday night, “Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”
Many critics interpreted Trump’s putting “TRAIL” in all caps as a reference to the “Trail of Tears,” Andrew Jackson’s forced removal of Native Americans from ancestral lands onto reservations during the 1800s.
If the reference wasn’t clear enough, Donald Trump Jr. decided to add his own racial take. Trump Jr. reposted his father’s tweet to Instagram with the caption, “Savage!!! Love my president.” Trump Jr.’s repost included a reply from a Twitter user who retorted: “The Native American genocide continues with another murder by the president.”
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale added in a statement that Warren has been “exposed as a fraud by the Native Americans she impersonated and disrespected to advance her professional career, and the people of Massachusetts she deceived to get elected.”
Warren’s entry into the 2020 race on Saturday comes after she had apologized for claiming Native American identity on multiple occasions early in her career. It’s a claim that has created fodder for Republicans and could overshadow her campaign.
Parscale says voters “will reject her dishonest campaign and socialist ideas” that, he says, “will raise taxes, kill jobs and crush America’s middle class.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.