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Maxine Waters Cancels Events over ‘Lynching’ Threat

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., listens to comments by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., as she and fellow Democrats criticize the efforts of Republicans to muscle legislation through the House authorizing an election-year lawsuit against President Barack Obama that accuses him of exceeding his powers in enforcing his health …
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), whose calls last weekend for supporters to “harass” Trump administration officials in their private lives earned her the disavowal of several leading Democrats, claimed Thursday she was forced to cancel two planned events in the South due to threats from political opponents.

“There was one very serious death threat made against me on Monday from an individual in Texas which is why my planned speaking engagements in Texas and Alabama were cancelled (sic) this weekend,” Waters said in a statement reported by CNN.

The threats against Waters that she quoted seemed tailored to perceptions of the southern location of the reported speaking engagements. “This is just one in several very serious threats the United States Capitol Police are investigating in which individuals threatened to shoot, lynch, or cause me serious bodily harm,” the statement reads (emphasis added).

As recently as Monday, Waters admitted to CNN that she gets death threats “all the time.” It is not clear what prompted the cancellations for these threats, other than the increased political focus on Waters for her remarks. As she implied support for the protesters who picketed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s home and interrupted her dinner, she exhorted followers not to let administration officials shop, get gas, or eat in public without harassment.

Some Republicans, such as Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), have moved for Waters to be censured for her statements, while the leadership of her own party, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have distanced themselves from them. Waters herself has stood wholeheartedly by her encouragement for confrontation.

In the statement announcing her cancellation of the Alabama and Texas events, Waters placed all blame on President Donald Trump. “As the President has continued to lie and falsely claim that I encouraged people to assault his supporters, while also offering a veiled threat that I should ‘be careful’, even more individuals are leaving (threatening) messages and sending hostile mail to my office,” she said.

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