Maxine Waters is clearly feeling the heat today after both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have taken issue with her weekend call for harassing members of the Trump administration in public. Monday afternoon, Waters gave a press conference in which she claimed she was only defending the right to protest and denied that she wanted anyone to be harmed. Waters also distanced herself from the restaurant that refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders over the weekend. From Fox News:
A defiant Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is not backing down from her weekend comments calling for people to confront members of the Trump administration at gas stations and anywhere else they’re seen in public.
But – pointing her finger at President Trump – the California Democrat argued her comments have been misconstrued, claiming she wasn’t calling for protesters to actually “harm” Cabinet members.
“Trump is the one who is creating lies,” Waters said during a Monday afternoon news conference on Capitol Hill. “Trying to have people believe that I talked about harming people. There’s nowhere in my statement, anytime, anyplace that we talked about harm.”
During a brief Q & A that followed her presser, Waters was asked if she supported asking Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave the restaurant, something Waters specifically suggested in her speech. Rather than own it, Waters dodged.
“The restauranteur who decided not to serve or have the person in…is responsible for that,” Waters said. She continued, “I had nothing to do with that.”
No one, certainly not the reporter asking her the question, suggested that Waters organized the incident involving Sarah Sanders. But the fact remains that what happened to Sanders seems to be in line with the kind of personal harassment Waters had called for. So the question now is: Do you approve of this?
When pressed, Waters replied, “As I have said, there’s going to be ongoing protests, I believe, against this administration and this president until they come up with a credible plan [resolving the situation with children at the border].”
Waters is basically claiming that her words were descriptive rather than prescriptive, i.e. she wasn’t encouraging anyone to do anything, just predicting what would happen.
That’s a nice dodge, except for the fact that the video of Waters’ rally clearly shows that’s not at all what she was doing. “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, at 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. That’s not describing what could happen, that’s calling for personal harassment of Trump administration figures everywhere they go. And that’s exactly what happened over the weekend.
Waters isn’t apologizing. On the other hand, she’s clearly attempting to walk away from her previous comments. Simply put, she’s lying about what she said because she’s not prepared to embrace the real world results of the incivility she called for just a few days ago. I guess that shows some level of shame is still operational even if she won’t admit that’s what is happening here.
Here’s a portion of the press conference. You can watch the whole thing here.
.@RepMaxineWaters: "As I said, there is going to be ongoing protests, I believe, against this administration and this president until they come up with a credible [immigration] plan." pic.twitter.com/SLA5SCeZK2
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) June 25, 2018