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(CNN) —  

Sen. Elizabeth Warren says President Donald Trump’s reference to his nickname for her – “Pochahontas” – at an event honoring Navajo veterans Monday was just a distraction from other issues.

“He’d sure like to talk about something else,” the Massachusetts Democrat said Monday night in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“I just want to thank you because you are very, very special people. You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said. “Although, we have a representative in Congress who has been here a long time … longer than you – they call her Pocahontas!”

Warren said she “really couldn’t believe” Trump’s comment.

“There he was, at a ceremony to honor Native Americans, men who have really put it all on the line to save American lives, to save lives of people, our allies, during World War II, really amazing people. And President Trump couldn’t even make it through a ceremony to honor these men without throwing in a racial slur,” Warren told Cooper on “Anderson Cooper 360.”

Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of Warren’s Native American heritage claims, including during his presidential bid.

In June 2016, Trump told NBC News in a phone interview that Warren “made up her heritage, which I think is racist. I think she’s a racist, actually, because what she did was very racist.”

Warren said Monday that she had learned about her family from her parents and grandparents.

“I learned about my family the way that most people learn about their families,” Warren said. “My brothers and I learned from our mother and our daddy and our grandparents who we are. And that’s it. That’s how we learned it. That’s what we know.”

When asked about White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ suggestion on Monday that Warren had used it as a way to advance her career, the senator said she “never used it to get ahead.”

“Never. I never used it to get ahead I never used it to get into school. I never used it to get a job. Look, this is just a way for Donald Trump to be able to try to get somebody talking about something other than what he’s doing,” Warren said.