Steve Scalise: ‘I Was Shot’ Because of the Kind of ‘Dangerous Rhetoric’ Repeated by Maxine Waters

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) speaks during a press conference following a House Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on April 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House Republican members spoke about the Biden administration's immigration policies and the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) is one of the latest high-profile politicians to condemn Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) after she encouraged protesters to take to the streets and “get more confrontational,” reminding everyone of his near-death experience after a man, who once referred to Republicans as the “Taliban of the USA,” shot him at a congressional baseball practice in 2017.

“Let’s be clear: Maxine Waters knew her rhetoric would incite violence in Minneapolis—but she doesn’t care, she just requests police escorts for herself,” Scalise said Monday afternoon.

“I was shot because of this kind of dangerous rhetoric. Where is the outrage from Dems & the media?” he asked, urging them to condemn her words:

Waters is remaining defiant as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) moves forward with efforts to formally censure the House Financial Services Committee chairwoman over remarks she made while attending a protest outside of a police station in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, over the weekend.

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict,” Waters told reporters, referencing the Derek Chauvin trial.

“And we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd, if nothing does not happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the street, but we’ve got to fight for justice,” she said.

However, she took her comments a step further, urging protesters to “stay on the street” and to “get more active” if they do not get the verdict they desire.

“We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure they know we mean business,” she added:

Waters, however, claims she is “nonviolent.”

“I am nonviolent,” Waters told TheGrio, accusing Republicans of jumping on her words and trying to “make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us”:

Republicans will jump on any word, any line and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us, basically calling us violent … any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word, so they do it and they send a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that, how this is a time for [Republicans] to raise money on [Democrats] backs.

This is far from the first time Waters has seemingly called for intimidating behavior. In the past, she actively called on Democrats to harass Trump administration officials.

“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,” Waters told supporters in 2018.

Speaking to MSNBC, Waters stressed she held “no sympathy for these people that are in this administration who know it’s wrong for what they’re doing on so many fronts.”

“They tend to not want to confront this president or even leave, but they know what they’re doing is wrong. I want to tell you, these members of his cabinet who remain and try to defend him, they won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store,” she continued, warning that 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.’ This is wrong,” she said at the time.


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