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White House defends Trump's 'Pocahontas' remarks

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders faced an avalanche of questions about why President Trump decided to take another shot at Senator Elizabeth Warren’s disputed heritage in the middle of a ceremony honoring Native Americans.

Trump hosted Navajo code talkers at the White House, and he randomly took a crack at Warren by making an aside about “Pocahontas.” Trump has used the term against Warren in the past.

Warren responded to the latest jab by saying it was unfortunate that Trump besmirched the event by using a "racial slur" against her.

When ABC’s Jon Karl noted how Warren called Trump’s attack a “racial slur,” Sanders brushed it off by saying “that’s a ridiculous response.”

“I think what most people find offensive is Sen. Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.

"Look, I think that Senator Warren was very offensive when she lied about something specifically to advance her career. I don't understand why no one's asking about that question and why that isn't constantly covered," Sanders said.

From Monday's White House press briefing:

REPORTER: Sarah, the event that the president just did with the Navajo code talkers he referred to Pocahontas being in the Senate. Why did he feel the need to say something that is offensive to many people while honoring the Navajo code talkers, these genuine American heroes?

SANDERS: I think what most people find offensive is Senator Warren lying about her heritage to advance her career.

Steven?

(CROSSTALK)

REPORTER: That's a racial slur. She said it was a racial slur. What is your response to that?

SANDERS: I think that's a ridiculous response.

REPORTER: If I could just follow up with that, because the president was speaking at an event to honor members of the Greatest Generation, people who fought in World War II who are in their 80s and 90s now, and the moment had many people online asking whether the president lacks decency. What's your response to that notion?

SANDERS: Look, I think the president certainly finds an extreme amount of value and respect for these individuals, which is why he brought them and invited them to come to the White House and spent time with them, recognizing them and honoring them today.

So I -- I think he is constantly showing ways to honor those individuals, and he invited them here at the White House today to meet with them and to also remind everybody about what the historic role that they played many years ago.

Kristen?

REPORTER: Why is it appropriate for the president to use a racial slur in any context?

SANDERS: I -- I don't believe that is appropriate for him to make a racial slur or anybody else.

REPORTER: Well, a lot of people feel as though this is a racial slur. So why is it appropriate for him to use that...

SANDERS: Like I said, I don't think that it is and I don't think -- that was certainly not the president's intent.

REPORTER: Sarah, does he see political value in...

(CROSSTALK)

SANDERS: I think -- like I said, I think the more offensive -- the most offensive thing...

QUESTION: Does he see political value in calling people out racially? Why use that term?

SANDERS: Look, I think that Senator Warren was very offensive when she lied about something specifically to advance her career. I don't understand why no one's asking about that question and why that isn't constantly covered.

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