GOP senators rebuke Trump for using 'Wounded Knee' as 'punchline'

Two GOP senators from South Dakota on Monday said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE should avoid referencing the Wounded Knee massacre as part of his attacks targeting political opponents.

Sen. Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsOvernight Defense: Pentagon policy chief resigns at Trump's request | Trump wishes official 'well in his future endeavors' | Armed Services chair warns against Africa drawdown after trip GOP chairman after Africa trip: US military drawdown would have 'real and lasting negative consequences' Trump pick for Fed seat takes bipartisan fire MORE (R-S.D.), in a string of tweets, said that Trump should go with him to visit tribal lands in South Dakota, where the 1890 massacre took place, adding that the country should "mend our history through reconciliation [and] mutual respect."

"The Wounded Knee Massacre was one of the darkest moments in our history. It should never be used as a punchline," Rounds said on Monday.

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Asked about Trump's comments, Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSchumer requesting .5 billion in emergency funding on coronavirus Republicans give Barr vote of confidence Trump creates new headaches for GOP with top intelligence pick MORE (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, separately told reporters that he wished Trump "wouldn’t do that."

"I wish he wouldn’t tweet as much, [as] I’ve said many times in the past. That’s obviously a very sensitive part of our state’s history. So yeah, I wish he’d stay away from it," Thune told reporters.

The public pushback comes after Trump mocked a video of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives MORE (D-Mass.) over the weekend and renewed his use of his racially charged nickname for the potential 2020 contender: Pocahontas. 

Trump, in a reference to her claims of Native American heritage, said the video would have been a "smash" if she filmed it in "Bighorn or Wounded Knee." Hundreds of Sioux men, women and children were killed by U.S. Cavalry troops in the late 19th century during the Wounded Knee massacre, marking one of the deadliest attacks on Native Americans by the U.S. military.

"If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas, did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash!" Trump tweeted.