Politics

We will ‘impeach the motherf---er,’ new Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib says of Trump

As Democratic leadership tamps down impeachment talk, some in rank-and-file keep up pressure

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., used an expletive to describe President Donald Trump at a gathering of progressives on Thursday. (Courtesy Rashida Tlaib for Congress)

In the steady stream of political sound bites, nothing cuts through the noise quite like what Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib said of President Donald Trump Thursday night.

“We’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherf---er,” the Michigan freshman congresswoman said to rapturous applause from a group of supporters just hours after she was sworn into the 116th Congress.

Tlaib is one of a handful of outspoken Democrats who have thrust impeachment proceedings against the president to the front of their agenda, despite a more measured tone from party brass. 

Illinois Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos was asked about Tlaib’s outburst Friday morning on CNN.

Watch: Rashida Tlaib can’t stand bullies and is keenly aware her district is third-poorest in nation

“Passions are running high. Let’s just leave it at that,” the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said. 

Newly elected Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders have said they want to wait for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to issue a final report from his Russia probe before deciding whether to impeach Trump. 

Pelosi said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” Thursday that politics will not play a role in whether Democrats decide to impeach the president.

“We shouldn’t be impeaching for a political reason, and we shouldn’t avoid impeachment for a political reason,” Pelosi said.

California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman reintroduced articles of impeachment Thursday — the same legislation that he and co-sponsor Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green initially filed in 2017.

The articles accuse the president of obstructing justice by firing former FBI Director James B. Comey after he refused to stop investigating former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Tlaib’s charged comments to supporters Thursday night reflect opinions she shared in an op-ed that the Detroit Free Press published earlier that day.

“President Donald Trump is a direct and serious threat to our country. On an almost daily basis, he attacks our Constitution, our democracy, the rule of law and the people who are in this country,” Tlaib wrote. “Each passing day brings more pain for the people most directly hurt by this president, and these are days we simply cannot get back. The time for impeachment proceedings is now.”

The president, who spends a hefty chunk of his “executive time” watching cable news, responded to the recent flurry of impeachment chatter in a tweet Friday morning.

How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2019

“How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?” a defiant, and characteristically abstruse, Trump tweeted.

Conservative commentators wasted no time highlighting Tlaib’s comments, and labeling her the “face” of the Democratic party.

“THIS is the face of the Democrats,” former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka tweeted. “Are you ready for what they will try to do to our President, @realDonaldTrump?”

Another pro-Republican account claimed Tlaib’s comments actually help Republicans, not Democrats.

“If you really don’t like Trump, you shouldn’t like this video, because this does the opposite of hurting him,” The Reagan Battalion tweeted.

Watch: Here are the 21 members who didn’t vote for Pelosi, McCarthy

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.