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

Freshman Rep. Deb HaalandDebra HaalandOvernight Energy: Dems press Interior chief to embrace climate action | Lawmakers at odds on how to regulate chemicals in water | Warren releases climate plan for military Warren releases plan to tackle climate change threats to military House Dem's bill would require ride-hailing companies to cover drivers' Social Security costs 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 Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report 2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group MORE (R-Fla.) to call Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-Mass.) “Sacagawea."

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

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“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 TlaibTlaib urges Mnuchin to seek personal legal advice Pelosi faces tipping point on Trump impeachment WHIP LIST: Democrats who support an impeachment inquiry against President Trump 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 TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 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.