Days after reportedly receiving death threats for urging Americans to “push back” against members of the Trump administration in public, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is back on the offensive.
The California Democrat on Saturday slammed the White House’s zero-tolerance immigration policy that separated families, asking, “How dare you?” She called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment and responded to the threats which had made her cancel previous speaking events.
“If you shoot me, you better shoot straight,” she said at a “Families Belong Together” in Los Angeles. “There’s nothing like a wounded animal.”
Waters, who represents California’s 43rd District, centered in south central Los Angeles, has emerged as a fierce Trump critic: She refused to attend his inauguration and boycotted his State of the Union Address, and she’s repeatedly called for him to be removed from office. At Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year awards last November, she led attendees in a chant of, “Impeach 45!”
She renewed the “Impeach 45” call on Saturday, and by Sunday morning, it was trending on Twitter.
Waters on Saturday attacked Trump for enacting immigration policies that resulted in the separation of more than 2,000 migrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border. Trump has signed an executive order that keeps parents and kids together, but reuniting already separated families has been slow-going, and now instead of splitting up families, the administration plans to keep them in indefinite detention.
“How dare you?” Waters said. “How dare you take the babies from mothers’ arms? How dare you take the children and send them all across the country into so-called detention centers?”
She said that Trump thinks he can “get away with everything” but that he’s gone “too far” in breaking up families. “I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, I don’t care what nationality you are, I don’t care what ethnic group you are, we all love the children,” she said. “This country belongs to all of this.”
Waters: “I have no fear. I am in this fight.”
Waters found herself in hot water after a separate rally last weekend, when she encouraged supporters to publicly protest Trump administration officials, apparently reacting to incidents involving officials such as Sarah Sanders and Kirstjen Nielsen being confronted in restaurants.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she said.
The comments were met with backlash, including criticism from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). Trump also hit back, falsely claiming on Twitter that Waters had called for harm to his supporters. She did not.
Waters on Thursday said she had seen an increase in threats, including “one very serious death threat,” since her original remarks last weekend and thus decided to cancel a pair of appearances in Alabama and Texas.
But on Saturday, Waters appeared as defiant as ever. “I have no fear. I am in this fight,” she said. “And I know that there are those who are talking about censuring me, talking about kicking me out of Congress, talking about shooting me, talking about hanging me. All I have to say is this: if you shoot me, you better shoot straight. There’s nothing like a wounded animal.”
As USA Today notes, this isn’t the first time the veteran legislator has made such a comment. She said something similar when she was speaking at a town hall meeting in Inglewood, California, last year, when she heard a pop while addressing the crowd.
“I don’t know what the sound was,” she said. “But whoever it is, if it’s a shot, you better shoot straight.”
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