Right-Wing Media Adopt Trump’s “Pocahontas” Attacks On Elizabeth Warren

Right-wing media figures are joining presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in using the name “Pocahontas” as an attack against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The line of attack was popularized by Boston right-wing radio host and Trump surrogate Howie Carr.

Trump Has Repeatedly Called Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”

Trump Has Called Warren “Pocahontas” And “The Indian.” Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly called Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Pocahontas” and “the Indian,” alluding to controversy surrounding claims about Warren’s heritage. In March, Trump responded to criticism from Warren of his comments by saying “Who’s that, the Indian?” and in a June 10 tweet, Trump wrote,“Pocahontas is at it again!” From a June 10 Washington Post report:

It was a bad time for Sen. Cory Gardner to be caught in an elevator with a reporter. Donald Trump had just referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as ­“Pocahontas” — again — and the Republican freshman from Colorado was struggling to figure out how to respond.


The furor over Trump’s assaults on the impartiality of a Latino judge had just begun to subside when he lobbed two tweets Friday morning responding to Warren, who had lambasted him as a “thin-skinned, racist bully” in a speech the previous evening.

“Pocahontas is at it again!” Trump wrote in one. “Goofy Elizabeth Warren, one of the least productive U.S. Senators, has a nasty mouth.”


The real estate developer has repeatedly invoked the ­17th-century Native American figure to refer to Warren, an allusion to controversy about her heritage. The senator has said she grew up amid family stories about her Cherokee lineage, but that account has not been proved.

Trump began going after Warren’s claimed ancestry earlier this year, responding to the senator’s repeated slams of him as a “loser” and a bully. “Who’s that, the Indian?” he said at a March news conference when asked about Warren. “You mean the Indian?” [The Washington Post, 6/10/16]

Right-Wing Media Echo Trump’s Attacks Against Warren

Wash. Times Editorial Board: Clinton Should Be “Reluctant To Make Pocahontas Her Running Mate.” In an editorial titled, “The Return of Pocahontas,” The Washington Times’ editorial board wrote about Trump’s attack on Warren and claimed that there are “persuasive reasons why [presumptive Democratic presidential nominee] Hillary [Clinton] would be reluctant to make Pocahontas her running mate,” ending the editorial, “Pocahontas must stay in the kitchen.” From the May 18 editorial:

There are other persuasive reasons why Hillary would be reluctant to make Pocahontas her running mate. For one thing, Ms. Warren has yet to endorse the presumptive Democratic nominee, and the Clintons have elephantine memories, and keep track of who stood with them in an hour of considerable need, such as the present moment, and for another thing, Hillary might think she brings estrogen enough to the ticket. Pocahontas must stay in the kitchen. [The Washington Times, 5/18/16]

Gateway Pundit: “Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren Now Rumored As Possible VP Pick For #CrookedHillary Clinton.” Gateway Pundit headlined a piece “Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren Now Rumored as Possible VP Pick for #CrookedHillary Clinton,” which it published with a photo of Warren’s face superimposed onto a Native American. The article started, “Massachusetts Senator and fake Native American Elizabeth Warren is being considered as a running mate for Hillary Clinton.” From a June 4 blog post:

[Gateway Pundit, 6/4/16]

Fox’s Hannity: “Hillary [Clinton] and Elizabeth Warren, Pocahontas, Were Together Today.” Discussing a joint campaign appearance by Clinton and Warren, Fox host Sean Hannity said, “Hillary and Elizabeth Warren, Pocahontas, were together today.” Hannity then called for Warren to “take a DNA test.” From the June 27 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): And after the conventions we’re going to know a lot more about the campaigns, we’re going to know a lot more about their team, their choice for vice president. Hillary and Elizabeth Warren, Pocahontas, were together today. “And Trump wears goofy hats.” Well take a DNA test. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 6/27/16]

Wash. Examiner’s Lisa Boothe: “The Biggest Hypocrite: Elizabeth 'Pocahontas' Warren.” Washington Examiner columnist Lisa Boothe criticized Warren’s criticism of Trump in a piece titled “The biggest hypocrite: Elizabeth 'Pocahontas' Warren.” [The Washington Examiner, 6/1/16]

Trump’s “Pocahontas” Attack On Warren Originated With His Campaign Surrogate And “Friend,” Conservative Radio Host Howie Carr

Carr Has Often Attacked Warren With Native American Stereotypes. Conservative radio host Howie Carr has often used Native American stereotypes to insult Warren. In December, Carr wrote that he “placed another call to [Warren’s] teepee in D.C;” in his April 7 Boston Herald column, he called Warren “Wonder Squaw;” and in May, Carr promoted “Fauxcahontas Shirts,” which featured “Chief Liz Warren.” [Media Matters, 6/30/16]

Trump And Carr Have Vacationed And Campaigned Together. Trump has been a frequent guest on Carr’s radio show, calls Carr a “friend,” and has praised Carr for helping to promote his message. Carr has bragged about golfing with Trump while staying at Trump's Mar-a-Largo-Club Resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and has repeatedly supported Trump on Twitter and introduced Trump at campaign rallies. [Media Matters, 3/15/16]

Native Americans Have Condemned Trump’s Attacks

Native Americans Say Attack Is “A Slur.” Many Native Americans have criticized Trump’s rhetoric against Warren as “offensive,” according to The New York Times. The Times quoted the executive director of National Congress of American Indians, who said he thinks Trump uses the term “as a slur” and that “No matter how [Trump] feels about Elizabeth Warren, to throw that out there is disrespectful to real Native Americans.” From the June 17 article:

Nevertheless, Mr. Trump’s words have stirred a debate among Native Americans about how they should deal with him. For many, his mention of the historical figure is offensive and a sign that Mr. Trump, who has been accused of being anti-immigrant, also has problems with the people who first inhabited the country.


Native Americans have taken notice.

“I think he definitely says it as a slur,” said Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians. “No matter how he feels about Elizabeth Warren, to throw that out there is disrespectful to real Native Americans.”


For Ms. Haaland, using the term “Pocahontas” is like calling Native Americans “Redskins,” and it suggests that Mr. Trump thinks that all tribes are the same.

“It’s as if any person who identifies as native, ‘We’ll just call them Pocahontas,’” Ms. Haaland said. [The New York Times, 6/17/16]