President Trump and Donald Trump Jr. are blowing their dog whistles in harmony on Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who announced on Saturday that she is running for president.
The father and son quickly took to social media to attack their new challenger with language that has been criticized as insensitive to Native Americans.
“Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President,” Donald Trump tweeted. “Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”
The President’s choice to capitalize the word TRAIL was seen by many to be a reference to Native American history. As reported by ABC News, social media quickly exploded with speculation the President was referencing the 20-year “Trail of Tears” massacre that saw more than 10,000 Native Americans murdered when they were moved off their land following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
Adding fuel to the fire, Donald Trump Jr. posted “Savage!!! Love my President” on Instagram after political pundit Michael Malice responded to the President that “the Native American genocide continues with another murder by the president.”
Trump Jr. posted a sanitized version of his praises for his father on Twitter, where he wrote: “Amazing. Love my president!!!”
Pejorative references to Native Americans as “savages” is a long-held argument for justifying the manner in which they were frequently treated.
The President is frequently accused of using “dog whistle politics” where he allegedly engages in race-baiting by using code words that he can argue mean something else.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez used the term on CNN in November, charging Trump’s “whistle of all dog whistles is immigration.”
Warren announced on Saturday that she would seek the Democratic nomination with hopes of challenging Trump for the White House in 2020. This came after three days of apologizing over the revelation that she had identified herself as “American Indian” on her 1986 Texas bar application.
A DNA test taken in Oct. reportedly showed Warren’s ancestry to be anywhere between a modest 1/64 and a minuscule 1/1024 Native American.
Warren has repeatedly apologized for identifying herself as Native American in the past, claiming she now understands that DNA results and tribal citizenship are not synonymous.