Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib will not apologize for calling President Trump a “motherf-ker” during a speech to supporters about impeachment.
Shortly after being sworn in, Tlaib said: “And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Momma, look you won, bullies don’t win,’ and I said, ‘Baby they don’t,’ because we’re gonna go in and impeach the motherf-ker.”
While the comment was met with applause by the crowd of supporters, it was ill received by Republicans and Democrats alike.
ABC News reports that after receiving backlash, Tlaib took to social media to announce she would not be apologizing.
In a tweet on Friday morning, Tlaib said: “I will always speak truth to power. #unapologeticallyMe.”
Rank-and-file Democrats, immediately fearful of the damage the comment could cause, unloaded on their new colleague Friday morning. Republicans, they argued, would hold it up as proof that Democrats are playing politics rather than pursuing genuine oversight of the president — even if the GOP never showed interest in investigating Trump scandals while it was in power.
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“Mueller hasn’t even produced his report yet!” said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.), referring to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. “People should cool their jets a little bit, let the prosecutors do their job and finish the investigation.”
“Inappropriate,” added Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.). “As elected officials I think we should be expected to set a high bar… It’s not helpful.”
Democrat Congressman Elijah Cummings called the profane comment “inappropriate” and said it did not help the Democrat Party’s messaging.
“We will reclaim civility. You cannot accomplish very much of anything unless you have civility and show respect for your colleagues,” the Maryland Representative said. “And I think those kinds of comments do not take us in the right direction, so I would say that they are inappropriate but I don’t want them to be distracting from what is going on. You know, I mean, we got big problems in this country.”
Democrat Congressman Gerry Connolly similarly criticized the comment, saying impeachment was not a focus of the Party.
“The ‘i’ word is not front and center in this Congress at this moment. I think that’s the comment of a new member in an excess of enthusiasm before an audience,” the Virginia Democrat said. “I don’t think it reflects how the Congress—or the majority of the Congress—has approached the subject of any investigation, including the possible impeachment.”
Democrat Debbie Dingell said the profanity was not representative of Democrats as a whole and cited new Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s previous calls to wait until the conclusion of the Mueller investigation before pushing impeachment.
“She’s one member. You know, we’re a large caucus,” the Michigan rep said. “The Leader has made it very clear how she feels. You know, I have said I think that, you don’t—impeachment would tear this country apart.”
Congresswoman Rosa Delauro echoed: “We’re going forward. You know, people—look, there is freedom of speech, as I said, the leadership of this caucus has spoken loud and clear of where we’re gonna go. And wait for the Mueller commission and protect the Mueller commission.”
“In the meantime, damn the torpedoes,” the Connecticut Democrat continued. “Full steam ahead on an agenda that works for the American people.”
Here’s more, from Politico:
As POLITICO reported earlier, even Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who introduced an impeachment resolution earlier this week, was shocked when he heard what Tlaib had said.
“That’s not language I would use,” Sherman said, after appearing visibly flummoxed when told of Tlaib’s comments. “I think the office of the presidency should be treated with respect.”
This incident was not the first time Tlaib openly called for Trump’s impeachment, ABC News reports:
Tlaib, a mother of two, has called for the president’s impeachment in more-restrained language previously, including in an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press on Thursday.
“President Donald Trump is a direct and serious threat to our country. On an almost daily basis, he attacks our Constitution, our democracy, the rule of law and the people who are in this country,” she wrote, in an op-ed with a byline shared by John Bonifaz, co-founder of Free Speech for People.
“Each passing day brings more pain for the people most directly hurt by this president, and these are days we simply cannot get back. The time for impeachment proceedings is now,” the column concludes.
House Speaker Pelosi reportedly brushed the comment and said it was being overly publicized.