Democrat California Rep. Maxine Waters walked back comments she made back at a rally in 2018 that encouraged supporters to harass members of the Trump administration during an interview with MCNBC’s Ali Velshi.
Waters was asked if she ever “glorified or encouraged” violence against Republicans after being shown a clip of her comments at the rally.
“As a matter of fact, if you look at the words that I used, the strongest thing I said was tell them they’re not welcome,” Waters claimed. “Talk to them. Tell them they’re not welcome. I didn’t say go and fight. I didn’t say anybody was going to have any violence. And so they can’t make that stick.”
Waters told MSNBC back in 2018 that she had “no sympathy” for Trump administration officials who defended Trump’s immigration policies and urged her supporters to “absolutely harass them” in public spaces.
“They’re not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they’re not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store,” Waters said. “The people are going to turn on them, they’re going to protest, they’re going to absolutely harass them.”
These comments came after former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders were harassed in public.
Rather than apologizing for her statements, Waters continued attacking Trump during her interview with Ali Velshi.
“The Republicans should be afraid, not only about the destruction of our democracy but if they continue to support him and allowed themselves to be guided by him, they’re going to have to live with a president that dictates to them every vote they can take, every vote they cannot take,” Waters said. “He’s going to be in their primaries. They will be owned by this dishonorable human being.”
Waters was asked about this clip because Trump’s lead impeachment attorney will be referencing Waters’ comments during the Senate impeachment trial this week.
“They’re going to try it, but nothing any Democrat that I know of have ever said or acted in the way the president of the United States has acted,” Waters said after being asked about Trump’s attorney presenting her quotes during the impeachment trial. “People must realize this president was out to destroy our democracy if he could not be president. He sent those people, those domestic terrorists, to the Capitol to take over the Capitol. Even they are saying so. They’re saying they were invited by the president. The president was rallying them right before they went. He told them to be tough. He told them to take back their government. And so nothing equals that.”