Wave Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — The war of words between U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and President Donald Trump, that has been waged ever since the November 2016 election, escalated this past weekend.
Trump again called Waters “an extraordinarily low IQ person” and admonished her to “be careful what you wish for,” in response to a weekend speech in which the Los Angeles Democrat urged people opposed to the administration’s policies to confront cabinet members.
The president sent a tweet June 25 that said: “Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!”
At an afternoon news conference in Washington, Waters said peaceful demonstrations are a cornerstone of democracy and she supports the right to protest.
“I have nothing to do with the way people decide to protest,” she said. “Protest is the democratic way, as long as it is peaceful.”
Waters added: “I don’t cry about protests. People protest me all the time, people come to my district office all the time. Protest is the American way.”
Trump’s tweet was apparently prompted by comments that Waters made June 23. At a rally at the Westwood Federal Building, she alluded to the heckling of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was dining at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., June 19 when she was confronted by protesters over family separations at the border, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a Lexington, Virginia, restaurant June 22 by its owner because of her work defending Trump and his policies.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” she said in remarks posted on YouTube. “And 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.
“We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents,” the congresswoman said then. “Mr. President, we will see you every day, every hour of the day, everywhere that we are to let you know you cannot get away with this.”
Waters appeared on a cable network later that day to reiterate her remarks, and exclaimed “no sympathy” for members of the Trump administration.
Around the time of Trump’s tweet, Pelosi, the House minority leader, issued a statement that did not mention Waters by name.
“In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again,” Pelosi tweeted. “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.”
Waters told reporters she did not view the tweet as a message from Pelosi to dial back her comments.
At a press briefing in the White House on June 25, Sanders said: “We are allowed to disagree, but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm. And this goes for all people regardless of politics.”
Without addressing Waters by name, she added that “a member of Congress called for people to ‘push back’ and make clear to those serving their country in this administration that they are not welcome anywhere, anytime, for anything.”
“Healthy debate on ideas and political philosophy is important, but the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable,” Sanders said. “America is a great country, and our ability to find solutions despite those disagreements is what makes us unique.”