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

Two GOP senators from South Dakota on Monday said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE should avoid referencing the Wounded Knee massacre as part of his attacks targeting political opponents.

Sen. Mike RoundsMarion (Mike) Michael RoundsGOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump On The Money: Wells Fargo CEO steps down | Trump vows to keep funding for Special Olympics | House panel approves marijuana banking bill | Controversial Fed pick gains support in Senate Controversial Fed pick gains support in GOP Senate 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 ThuneGOP grows tired of being blindsided by Trump Hillicon Valley: Assange faces US charges after arrest | Trump says WikiLeaks 'not my thing' | Uber officially files to go public | Bezos challenges retail rivals on wages | Kremlin tightens its control over internet Lawmakers weigh challenges in fighting robocalls 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 WarrenOvernight Defense: Reports detail effect of transgender military ban | Watchdog auditing 8 billion submarine program | Warren questions top general on climate change Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms Warren praises Ocasio-Cortez in Time 100 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.