Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said she wants to make it clear that women have every right to curse in public, though admitted her impeachment words about President Trump “did become a distraction.”
After being sworn in to the 116th Congress last week, Tlaib told supporters at an evening gathering, “And when your son looks at you and says, mama, look, you won. Bullies don’t win. And I said, baby, they don’t, because we’re going to go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf***er.”
Her comments drew public criticism from members of her own party. “To act like that, it’s just awful, and to speak like that is even more deplorable,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
Even Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who reintroduced articles of impeachment against Trump along with co-sponsor Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), said “the office of the presidency should be treated with respect — it’s not something I would say.”
Tlaib told CNN on Tuesday that she’s “very unapologetically me” and her constituents “are kind of used to my realness, used to this passion that I have.”
“And I know for many people, it did — it did get the best of me at that moment and for many people it might have been very much a distraction,” she said.
Tlaib said she won’t apologize for saying it because “what I want to do is not allow women like myself that have every right to be angry and upset and mad and to curse — that somehow they’re not allowed to do it in some sort of public forum.”
“I can tell you this, what I completely very much don’t like is that it did become a distraction,” she added. “For me, it might have been, you know, a heat of the moment, but I’ve got to tell you, right now we’re in the middle of a shutdown and I’m getting interviewed to talk about cursing instead of the veterans I just left back home.”
Trump said of Tlaib’s original remark, “I thought her comments were disgraceful. I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family. Using language like that, I thought it was highly disrespectful to the United States of America.”
The congresswoman said in response that “the only person disgracing the office of the president is the president of the United States currently and that’s Donald Trump.”
“I’m not going to, you know, continue to discuss the fact that — continue on to — for him to say what he said and continue to do the exact same thing that he’s criticizing me for,” Tlaib said. “He has to be putting the American people first. He has to understand that the culture and this kind of dissent that he has for me is something that is felt across this country. I am not the only one that is this angry and this upset and as a person, again a woman of color, as a person that is newly elected here, the first thing I have to vote on and I did was to get the government back up and running, and now, he continues to delay that and continues to hurt our families.”