Jake Johnson: After Warning Congresswoman ‘Be Careful,’ Trump Has Yet to Denounce Lynching Threats Made Against Maxine Waters
Highlighting attacks on Waters by the president and right-wing media, one commentator said of the death threats: “This is exactly what they wanted.”
“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,” Rep. Maxine Waters said in a statement late Thursday. (Photos: Getty Images)
It has been more than 13 hours since Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) announced that she was forced to cancel speaking events due to “very serious” lynching threats, and President Donald Trump—who just days ago warned Waters to “be careful what you wish for“—has yet to issue so much as a tweet denouncing the threats against the life of a sitting member of Congress.
“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 canceled this weekend,” Waters said. “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.”
Trump’s Twitter threat against Waters came after the congresswoman said during a rally in Los Angeles last weekend that Americans should “push back on” White House officials and tell them “they’re not welcome” whenever they show their faces in public.
Calling Waters “extraordinarily low IQ person” in a tweet on Monday, Trump falsely accused her of calling on Americans to “harm” his supporters.
On Monday, Waters made clear that nothing in her weekend statement should be construed as a call for anything violent.
“I believe in peaceful, very peaceful protests,” she told reporters on Capitol Hill. “I have not called for the harm of anybody. This President has lied again when he’s saying that I’ve called for harm.”
At a rally on Wednesday night, Trump continued spreading lies when he claimed Waters “practically was telling people the other day to assault” members of his administration.
“Maxine Waters didn’t call for harming Trump administration officials,” noted former New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse. “She called for protesting loudly against them.”
After several consecutive days of early morning tweets, as of this writing Trump’s feed is conspicuously silent in the wake of Waters’ statement on the wave of death threats.
Noting that Trump’s Twitter attack on Waters “can definitely be construed as a veiled threat against her,” The Root‘s Monique Judge argued that the president’s tweet was also “a very loud dog whistle to his base, and intentionally so.”