Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, widely referred to as a "moderate," said he supports starting congressional proceedings to impeach President Donald Trump.
In an interview with The Washington Post on Thursday, Buttigieg was asked if he supports impeachment proceedings against the president, to which he responded, "of course," The Hill reports.
The South Bend, Indiana mayor also said, "it’s very clear the president deserves impeachment," adding: "And the case for impeachment is being built each passing day by the White House."
"As to when and how the House goes about launching those procedural steps to get the inquiry up and running, I’m going to leave that up to the House," he said.
Despite supporting impeachment, Buttigieg said his focus is trying to defeat Trump in 2020.
"I'm a 2020 candidate — the best thing I can do about this is not a procedural issue in the House of Representatives, it's getting the nomination and beating the president," Buttigieg said.
In the interview, Buttigieg also said jokingly, "As a young Democrat, I've learned to think cautiously before offering advice to (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi."
Pelosi has said she is not in support of impeachment proceedings at this time.
In his support for impeachment, Buttigieg is joined by presidential hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX).
Other presidential candidates, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), reportedly are in favor of House Democrats beginning an inquiry for impeachment.
In an interview with Jake Tapper’s CNN, Sanders said that he suggested that Trump may want to be impeached.
"To be very honest with you, Jake, I am not sure that this president may not want to be impeached," Sanders said. "He may think that it works for him politically. I don't know that, but it wouldn't shock me. I think he is a 100% political animal."
Buttigieg is widely regarded as a moderate, but with the latest polls showing only 39% of Americans in favor of impeachment and the Democratic House leadership not in favor, his position is hardly moderate.
Buttigieg has also taken other radical stances recently, including calling for the removal of President Thomas Jefferson’s name from buildings, honors, and events, as reported by The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti:
Buttigieg stopped short of saying Jefferson's role in the founding of the United States should be wiped out of history books, but does support the idea that Jefferson should be stripped of visible honors, including his name on buildings and federal institutions, because those visible tributes have an effect on people's emotional and psychological well-being.
“The real reason I think there is a lot of pressure on this is the relationship between the past and present that we're finding in a million different ways that racism isn't some curiosity out of the past that we're embarrassed about but moved on from,” Buttigieg explained.
He ultimately added that he sees it as his responsibility to protect the affected from further harm: “It's alive. It's well. It's hurting people and it's one of the main reasons to be in politics today is to try to change or reverse the harms that went along with that.”
Jefferson has a conflicted record on slavery. Although he owned 175 slaves over the course of his life, and did not free them upon his death as some other founders did, Jefferson did author a law prohibiting the importation of new slaves into the state of Virginia as early as 1778. He officially abolished the slave trade in the United States in 1807, though in many cases the practice continued, out of the eye of the federal government.