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

Two GOP senators from South Dakota on Monday said that President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE should avoid referencing the Wounded Knee massacre as part of his attacks targeting political opponents.

Sen. Mike RoundsMike RoundsIndigenous groups post billboards urging senators to confirm Deb Haaland Powell pushes back on GOP inflation fears Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March 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 ThuneDemocrats cut deals to bolster support for relief bill Senate GOP will force clerks to read bill to delay COVID-19 relief vote Parliamentarian strikes down Pelosi priority in aid package 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 WarrenHillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case Senators question Bezos, Amazon about cameras placed in delivery vans Democrats worry Senate will be graveyard for Biden agenda 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.