The Democratic lawmaker who sparked controversy for her use of a profane epithet to describe President Donald Trump has defended her stance. On Thursday, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib told supporters it was time to “impeach the motherfucker,” referring to the president.
“‘Look, Mama, you won. Bullies don’t win,'” Tlaib said, quoting her son. “And I said, ‘Baby, they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and impeach the motherfucker.'” Her remarks were made at a reception held just hours after she became one of the first two Muslim women to be sworn in as members of Congress.
Trump described Tlaib’s comments as “highly disrespectful” to the U.S. “I thought her comments were disgraceful,” the President said during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden on Friday afternoon.
“This is a person I don’t know, I assume she’s new. I think she dishonored herself and dishonored her family using language like that in front of her son and whoever else was there.”
However, the 42-year-old attorney defiantly stood by her comments on Friday, suggesting Trump had finally come across someone not afraid of firing verbal shots at him.
“I think President Trump has met his match,” she was quoted as saying by Detroit NBC-affiliate Local 4. “It’s probably exactly how my grandmother, if she was alive, would say it. Obviously, I am a member of Congress and things that I say are elevated on a national level, and I understand that very clearly.”
Tlaib’s words and Trump’s subsequent reply immediately went viral, but the Michigan representative insisted her message, rather than the language, should have been the main topic of conversation. She was also eager to point out using what she described as “colorful” language should not overshadow her commitment to her state, nor her criticism of the president.
“I am very passionate, and I grew up in an incredibly beautiful, urban community—the city of Detroit—born and raised,” she explained. “We say colorful things in interesting ways, but I tell you, the president of the United States is my focus. The residents back home are my focus.”
On Thursday, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Tlaib’s comments, suggesting they were no worse than some of the remarks Trump has made since winning the race to the White House in 2016.
“I don’t like that language, I wouldn’t use that language, but I wouldn’t establish any language standards for my colleagues,” Pelosi told MSNBC. “But I don’t think it’s anything worse than what the president has said.”