House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Tuesday joined the growing chorus of legislators and others who are slamming Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for calling on protesters to “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted of murder charges in the killing of George Floyd.
Scalise (R-La.) — who sustained near-fatal injuries after being shot during a 2017 congressional baseball practice — called on the California Democrat to apologize for her comments and accused Democrats of “hypocrisy” for not condemning her comments.
“A lot of people have talked about the comments that other people have made and spoken out against it right now. I haven’t heard any Democrats speaking out against what Maxine has said,” Scalise told reporters on Tuesday.
“And it’s time for Democrats to speak out when they see it on both sides, they only want to speak out on one side not on both, and that hypocrisy, I think, is starting to shine through.”
The Louisiana Republican also took aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for saying Waters’ “talked about confrontation in the manner of the Civil Rights movement,” while defending her comments on Monday.
“I’ve been very clear in speaking out against any kind of political rhetoric that incites violence, but if you look at Maxine Waters comments, the judge in the trial just yesterday acknowledged that Maxine Waters comments are so inflammatory that it could cause grounds for an appeal if that ruling goes the wrong way. And in fact, the judge went on to say that elected officials need to stop doing this and stay out of this,” Scalise continued.
“The fact that Speaker Pelosi covered for her, she was trying to incite violence, and in fact there is violence going on right now in Minnesota because of her actions.”
Waters called on protesters to increase activity while in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Saturday night.
“We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” she said.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to introduce a resolution to formally censure Waters for her rhetoric this week.
When pressed by reporters on whether Waters’ comments were on par with former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, Scalise defended the former president.
“No, in fact, President Trump used the words peaceful when he talked about, you know, the statements that he made. I haven’t heard Maxine saying anything about peacefully protesting,” he said.