On Sunday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) defended herself amid criticism of her controversial call for people to harass members of President Donald Trump’s administration.
After her comments, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) derided her comments as “unacceptable”:
In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again. Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea. https://t.co/vlpqOBLK4R
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) June 25, 2018
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) similarly denounced calls for harassment as “not American.”
While appearing on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” Waters said she was “surprised” by Schumer’s comments and accused Democratic leaders of doing “anything” in order to protect their power.
“One of the things I recognize, being an elected official, is in the final analysis, you know, leadership like Chuck Schumer’s will do anything that they think is necessary to protect their leadership,” Waters said.
Maxine Waters slams fellow Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, saying they “will do anything” to protect themselves.
This is the moment we have long awaited. pic.twitter.com/M55O5TpEh4
— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) July 1, 2018
Waters’ response came amid a broader discussion about civility in politics. Comedian Michelle Wolf, who insulted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier this year, said Waters’ call didn’t go far enough and that people should make their harassment intensely personal.
Waters’ initial comments followed incidents in which a restaurant asked Sanders to leave and a crowd heckled Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over their respective support of the administration.