Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemned Representative Maxine Waters’ (D., Calif.) call for Americans to confront and protest Trump administration officials when they encounter the officials in public Monday, but argued that President Trump is ultimately responsible for the current vitriolic political environment.
“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,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter above an article detailing Waters’ comments.
Speaking a rally in Los Angeles Saturday, Waters encouraged her supporters to “push back” against the Trump administration’s policies by harassing administration officials in restaurants, gas stations, and other public settings.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. 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,” Waters told the crowd. “We don’t know what damage has been done to these children. All that we know is they’re in cages. They’re in prisons. They’re in jails. I don’t care what they call it, that’s where they are and 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.”
The comments came just hours after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders complained on Twitter about being kicked out of a Virginia restaurant due to her work for the administration.
“Her actions say far more about her than about me,” Sanders tweeted Saturday. “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”
Waters reiterated her point on MSNBC Saturday afternoon, suggesting that a certain degree of public pressure would coerce administration officials into surrendering their posts.
“The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the President, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.’”
The comments drew swift criticism from Republican lawmakers. “Left or right, nobody deserves this kind of treatment,” Senator Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.), himself a staunch opponent of the Trump administration, wrote on Twitter.
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