Rep. Deb Haaland took aim at President Trump for what she described as his “ignorance and racism” for Native Americans.
“It’s completely exhausting to try to keep up with so much of his ignorance and racism for native people,” Haaland, one of the first two Native American women in Congress, told CNN on Monday.
“At this point, I feel like he needs to be ignored,” she added.
Rep. Deb Haaland: Trump “is just completely ignorant when it comes to Native Americans.”
“It’s completely exhausting to try to keep up with so much of his ignorance and racism for native people, and at this point, I feel like he needs to be ignored.” https://t.co/aa9Erqfx1gpic.twitter.com/xGlDKPRzGC
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) February 11, 2019
Haaland’s comments come after Trump mocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren , who recently launched her 2020 presidential bid, over her past claims of Native American heritage.
“Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President,” he tweeted on Saturday. “Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”
Haaland said she agrees with criticism that Trump’s comment was a reference to the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation Native American tribes that led to thousands of deaths.
“It would be nice if he picked up a book and decided to read about Indian history,” she said. “He would not be mocking anyone if he knew more.”
Haaland defended Warren, who has come under fire for identifying herself as Native American in the past, and for publishing a DNA test indicating Native American ancestry. Last week, Warren apologized for calling herself Native American.
The New Mexico lawmaker, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, said that Warren is “very cognizant” of what it means to be a tribal member.
“She wasn’t trying to be an enrolled member of a tribe,” Haaland said of Warren. “Also, I would never tell anyone how they should identify themselves.”
“What I know about Senator Warren is the she has fought for working families for a heck of a long time, she has returned billions to Americans who have been ripped off by big banks, and … she will continue to work hard for working families and make sure that people have a fair deal in his country,” she added.