Not even a day into her tenure as congresswoman, Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib called for the impeachment of President Trump, whom she referred to as a “motherfucker,” sparking predictable outrage from the right and handwringing from liberal defenders of civility. But even as the backlash mounted on Friday morning, Tlaib made it clear that she’s not taking back what she said.
At a lively MoveOn.org event on Thursday night, Tlaib was speaking about what it meant to win her election earlier that year. She specifically recalled an anecdote about her son’s perception of her election outcome.
“People love you, and you win,” she told the room, according to the Detroit Free Press. “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 gonna go in there, and we’re gonna impeach the motherfucker.”
Thursday’s speech was not the first time Tlaib has called for Trump’s impeachment: In an op-ed published earlier that day, she argued that the president is “a direct and serious threat to our country,” and that Democrats must begin impeachment proceedings immediately. (Thursday night was, however, the first time she has publicly called him a “motherfucker.”)
By late that night, conservatives were up in arms, disgusted that Tlaib had the gall to criticize the president using such vulgar language. Some liberal critics came forward, too, arguing that her statement was too divisive and too strongly anti-Trump.
On Friday morning, the congresswoman finally commented on her controversial remark in two tweets, affirming that she meant what she said.