President Donald Trump warned attendees at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention on Friday that they probably won’t like the Democrats running for president in 2020. He used a derogatory nickname to specifically call out Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
“I have a feeling that in the next election, you’re going to be swamped with candidates, but you’re not going to be wasting your time,” said Trump, the first sitting president to address the NRA’s convention since Ronald Reagan. “You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you’re going to say, ‘No, sir. No, thank you. No, ma’am.’ Perhaps ‘ma’am.’ It may be Pocahontas, remember that. And she is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you. But you came through for me, and I am going to come through for you.”
The crowd booed when he mentioned Warren.
Trump’s speech was largely a rehash of themes from his campaign rallies. As he always does, he spent a significant amount of time reminding everyone that he won the 2016 election and touting the size of his victory.
He also promised the gun lobby that it has “a true friend and champion in the White House.”
“For too long, Washington has gone after law-abiding gun owners while making life easier for criminals, drug dealers, traffickers and gang members ― MS-13. You know about MS-13?” Trump asked, referring to one notable gang. “It’s not pleasant for them anymore, folks, it’s not pleasant for them anymore. That’s a bad group. Not pleasant for MS-13. Get them the hell out of here. Get them out.”
The Trump administration has been focusing on MS-13 in recent weeks and claiming the Obama administration was weak on the gang. But as CNN has pointed out, experts say “there is little statistical evidence that MS-13 is more prevalent in recent years or more dangerous to the U.S. than other gangs.” And it was President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department that in 2012 sanctioned the group as a transnational criminal organization.
Trump has long mocked Warren by calling her “Pocahontas,” referring to her claim that she has some Native American ancestry.
“Pocahontas is not happy, she’s not happy. She’s the worst. You know, Pocahontas — I’m doing such a disservice to Pocahontas, it’s so unfair to Pocahontas — but this Elizabeth Warren, I call her ‘goofy Elizabeth Warren,’ she’s one of the worst senators in the entire United States Senate,” he said last June.
Warren seems to be able to get under Trump’s skin more than other Democrats. During the campaign, she went on tweetstorms taking on Trump on his favorite social media platform.
In February, Trump stunned senators during a bipartisan meeting by telling Democrats, “Pocahontas is now the face of your party.”
Warren’s office did not return a request for comment.
Native American leaders have condemned Trump’s nickname for Warren, but he continues to use it.
“I think he definitely says it as a slur,” Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, told The New York Times last June. “No matter how he feels about Elizabeth Warren, to throw that out there is disrespectful to real Native Americans.”
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