A group of black women leaders, which included religious and political officials along with some male “allies,” wrote to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Tuesday criticizing their lack of support for Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) following the backlash she received after calling for the public harassment of Trump officials.
“We write to share our profound indignation and deep disappointment over your recent failure to protect Congresswoman Waters from unwarranted attacks from the Trump Administration and others in the GOP,” the leaders wrote. “That failure was further compounded by your decision to unfairly deride her as being ‘uncivil’ and ‘un-American.’”
“In doing so, we believe this mischaracterizes her call to action for peaceful democratic assembly and the exercise of her constitutional rights to free speech in support of defenseless immigrant children and their families,” they added.
The letter demands an apology from the Democratic leadership.
Rep. Waters told her supporters at a rally that "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."
Pelosi initially responded to the remarks in a tweeted statement saying, "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."
"I strongly disagree with those who advocate harassing folks if they don't agree with you," Schumer said in response to Waters at the time, "that's not right and that's not American."
Waters later clarified that she was not calling for harm to Trump officials with her remarks.
"I believe in peaceful, very peaceful protests," she told reporters. "I have not called for the harm of anybody. This President has lied again when he's saying that I've called for harm."
President Trump called Waters “crazy” Tuesday, saying she is the face of the Democratic party.
Crazy Maxine Waters, said by some to be one of the most corrupt people in politics, is rapidly becoming, together with Nancy Pelosi, the FACE of the Democrat Party. Her ranting and raving, even referring to herself as a wounded animal, will make people flee the Democrats!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2018
In response to the letter, Pelosi said Wednesday, "Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a valued leader whose passionate call for family reunification should be heard without any threats to her safety."
"Donald Trump has sullied the bully pulpit with reckless disregard for the safety of others," she added. "He should stop his attacks on Congresswoman Waters and all Members of Congress, the free press, and all Americans who have the right and the responsibility to speak their minds."