Despite some mild pushback from the leadership of her party, newly sworn-in Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is not apologizing for calling President Trump a “motherf***er.” In fact, she’s doubling down, asserting in a recent interview that she thinks Trump has “met his match” in her.
In an instantly viral video, the Michigan Democratic representative declared to supporters Thursday — her first day as a member of Congress — that she and her fellow Democrats are going to “impeach that motherf***er.”
“People love you and you win,” she told a cheering crowd Thursday night. “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 there and we’re gonna impeach the mother***er.'”
Trump has responded, telling reporters Friday that he thought her comments were “disgraceful.”
“Well, I thought her comments were disgraceful,” he said. “This is a person that I don’t know. I assume she’s new. I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family.”
Some of Tlaib’s fellow Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the new chair of the House Judiciary Committee, have softly rebuked Tlaib for the comment, but she is clearly not feeling apologetic.
In an interview with WDIV-TV Detroit Friday, Tlaib said, “I think President Trump has met his match.”
“Yeah, he needs to put a mirror up,” she told the outlet when asked about his description of her comments as “disgraceful.”
“I stand by impeaching the President of the United States. I ran on that,” she said.
Asked if she could have chosen her words better, she said, “You know, look, it’s probably exactly how my grandmother, if she was alive, would say it. Obviously, I am a member of Congress and things that I say is elevated on a national level, and I understand that very clearly.”
Her language, she said, stems from her “passion” and her “urban” background. “I am very passionate, and I grew up in an incredibly beautiful, urban community, the city of Detroit, born and raised,” she said. “We say colorful things in interesting ways, but I tell you, the President of the United States is my focus. The residents back home are my focus.”
Video below (via RCP):
Some of the Democratic leadership have gently chided Tlaib, not only for the language but for her call for impeachment.
“I don’t really like that kind of language,” Rep. Nadler told CNN. “But more to the point, I disagree with what she said. It is too early to talk about [impeachment] intelligently. We have to follow the facts. We have to get the facts.”
Pelosi has likewise softly pushed back, saying she had a “generational” issue with Tlaib’s language and that calling for impeachment right out of the gate is divisive.
“Generationally, that would not be language I would use. But nonetheless, I don’t think we should make a big deal of it,” Pelosi said at a Town Hall that aired Friday. “But in any event, I’m not in the censorship business. I don’t like that language, I wouldn’t use that language. I don’t … establish any language standards for my colleagues, but I don’t think it’s anything worse than what the president has said.” As for her calls for immediate impeachment, Pelosi stressed that “that is not the position of the caucus.”
But as The Atlantic reports, Tlaib isn’t budging on her impeachment rhetoric. “The Congresswoman absolutely believes he needs to be impeached,” her office said in a statement to the Detroit Press Friday.
She’s also issued a tweet insisting that she will continue to “speak truth to power” and saying that she is “unapologetically me.”
On social media, Tlaib has continued to hammer Trump, portraying the partial government shutdown as entirely his fault. She’s also made sure to publicly associate herself with her fellow newly sworn-in far-left Democratic representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who also supports his impeachment:
Along with being Muslim, Tlaib is the first Palestinian American woman elected to Congress. Photos reportedly from her office showing the map of the Middle East with a sticky note renaming Israel “Palestine” have caused a stir:
For her swearing in ceremony, initial reports said she used Thomas Jefferson’s copy of the Quran, but she has since clarified that she used her own copy to make the event more personal.
“I used my own *personal Quran* that my best friend of 25 years gifted me to use for the ceremonial swear in (basically a photo with Speaker Pelosi),” she wrote, adding, “*Note: I did not use Jefferson’s Quran as reported. I wanted it to be more personal (and my own).”