Trump slams ‘disgraceful’ Democrat’s profane impeachment vow.
WASHINGTON -- A Democratic congresswoman kicked off her term with an expletive-laced vow to impeach Donald Trump, testing her party’s discipline and earning a chiding Friday from the president.
As a clip of Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib’s animated comments circulated widely on social media, Trump tartly dismissed the threat of impeachment, while the newly elected Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared loath to reign in the congresswoman’s language.
“How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time?” Trump said on Twitter, saying Democrats only consider impeachment “because they know they can’t win in 2020.”
At an event hours after her swearing-in on Thursday, Tlaib told supporters that “we are gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherfucker.”
The crowd roared, and Tlaib hugged supporters.
Salty language by US lawmakers — or presidents, for that matter — is nothing new. Trump, hardly the paradigm of verbal decency, last year derided African nations as “shithole” countries, after all.
But when Trump was asked about his critic’s comments, he said they were “disgraceful,” and “highly disrespectful to the United States of America.”
“I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family, using language like that,” he added.
The timing and optics of Tlaib’s outburst are notable.
Democrats have just won control of the House of Representatives, after eight years in the minority. Tlaib, 42, is one in a cadre of ebullient, media-savvy rising stars — the self-described “radical” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is another — who aim to shake up Washington’s status quo.
Such progressives will be eager to push back against an administration they believe has abused its authority in the nearly two years since Trump’s inauguration.
Doubling down on her outburst, Tlaib — the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress — tweeted Friday: “I will always speak truth to power. #unapologeticallyMe.”
But she dodged reporters repeatedly asking about her remarks.
Tlaib found support on Twitter, where #ImpeachTheMF was a trending item in the United States on Friday night, with more than 110,000 tweets.
As the chamber’s new speaker, the 78-year-old Pelosi is challenged with keeping Trump — as well as the more radical elements of her own party — in check.
Pelosi sought to downplay Tlaib’s potty mouth.
“I probably have a generational reaction to it. But in any event I’m not in the censorship business,” she said in comments aired Friday on MSNBC.
“But I don’t think it’s any worse than what the president has said.”
Republicans have bridled at Tlaib’s comments, using them to portray Democrats as seeking politically-motivated retribution against Trump rather than common ground.
“We watched a new freshman stand up, use this language, get cheered by their base, and we watched a brand new speaker say nothing to her,” top House Republican Kevin McCarthy said.