New Dem lawmaker slams Gaetz for using the term 'Sacagawea' to attack Warren

Freshman Rep. Deb HaalandDebra HaalandWarren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre Warren adds Ayanna Pressley as campaign co-chair Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising MORE (D-N.M.), who this week became one of the first two Native American women sworn into Congress, said it was “offensive and hurtful” for Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGOP calls for minority hearing on impeachment, threatens procedural measures Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA Tempers flare at tense Judiciary hearing on impeachment MORE (R-Fla.) to call Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump trade deal likely to sow division in Democratic presidential field Buttigieg says he doubts consulting work for insurer led to layoffs Trump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles MORE (D-Mass.) “Sacagawea."

Haaland slammed Gaetz for making the comparison to Sacagawea, the Lemhi Shoshone woman who helped the Lewis and Clark expedition. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“Sacagawea made great sacrifices that changed American history,” Haaland said. “When anyone speaks her name, it should be with great respect.”

Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe in New Mexico, called Gaetz’s comments “offensive and hurtful.”

“I invite him to meet [with] me so I can share how such comments are a continuing assault on indigenous people,” she added.

In response, the Florida Republican asked if Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden narrowly ahead in Iowa as Sanders surges, Warren drops: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — GOP, Democrats square off at final impeachment hearing Live coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing MORE (D-Mich.) could be invited as well.

“We’re going to go in and impeach the mothef---er,” the freshman Democrat told supporters, referring to President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE.

"She seems to have a sophisticated understanding of non-offensive language," Gaetz said in a tweet.

The Hill has reached out to Gaetz’s office about Haaland's invitation.

Gaetz made the remark about Warren and her claims of Native American heritage during a Fox News segment Friday.

“I know the president likes to call her ‘Pocahontas,’ but now that she’s making her way from the eastern seaboard into the center of the country, maybe Sacagawea would be more appropriate,” Gaetz said. “Instead of bringing Lewis and Clark, she is bringing the most liberal policies of the Democratic Party.”

Warren, who announced her plans to form an exploratory committee to run for president, was the first prominent Democrat to enter the 2020 race.

She has long claimed to have Native American heritage and released the results of a DNA test in October which showed she had “strong evidence” of ancestry.

Haaland commended Warren for sharing the results, saying she acknowledged her Native ancestry as “testament to who we are as Americans.”

"The oppression that Native people have experienced over the course of our history caused many Native American families to deny their heritage, language, and culture, and I understand why this was the case with her family,” Haaland said in a statement.

Trump and his Republican base has not ceased his attacks on Warren, frequently using the nickname “Pocahontas.”

Gaetz defended his use of a nickname when Fox News host Melissa Francis pushed back, saying “half the world screams at you that you have made a racial slur.”

“I am simply saying that this is someone who misrepresented her heritage,” Gaetz, an outspoken Trump supporter, said. “She wanted to be forward-leaning on this element of her own biography that wasn’t accurate. It’s not about her heritage, it's about trustworthiness.”

--This report was updated on Jan. 6 at 10:38 a.m.