White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders lept like Nijinsky around questions about President Donald Trump using a racial slur on Monday during a White House ceremony at which he was to honor Native American “code talkers” who served in World War II.
Two code talkers were standing next to Trump when he dusted off his fave nickname/slur for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has claimed Native American ancestry.
“I just want to thank you because you’re very, very special people,” Trump began. “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. They call her ‘Pocahontas’.”
By “they,” of course, Trump meant “Donald Trump.”
Breaking the awkward silence that followed, Trump assured the marines, “But you know what, I like you because you are special. You are special people. You are really incredible people.”
“And from the heart, from the absolute heart, we appreciate what you’ve done, how you’ve done it, the bravery that you displayed, and the love that you have for your country.”
Sanders got asked about the insult at her press briefing.
“I think what most people find offensive is Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career,” Sanders deflected, when asked what Trump had been thinking of when he decided to make that offensive remark at that exact moment. She insisted Trump found an “extreme amount of value and respect” in the Native American soldiers which is “why he invited them to come to the White House.”
Asked why he thought it appropriate to bring up Warren out of the blue, so as to use the slur in the presence of Native Americans who served the country during World War II, Sanders countered, “I don’t believe it is appropriate for him to make a racial slur, or anybody else” while insisting it was “not his intent.”
Another reporter asked if Trump sees “political value” in calling people out racially. Sanders made her biggest leap there, replying instead it was offensive when Warren “lied about something to advance her career.”
Before Sanders briefing, Warren addressed Trump’s White House insult to the Native American marines.
“It is deeply unfortunate that the President of the United States cannot even make it though a ceremony honoring these heroes without having to throw out a racial slur,” Warren responded on air to a question from MSNBC.
“Donald Trump does this over and over thinking somehow he is going to shut me up with it. It hasn’t worked in the past; it is not going to work in the future,” she added.