Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Tuesday threw his support behind House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) plans to introduce a resolution to censure Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), amid Republicans’ performative outrage over Waters’ remarks urging protesters against police brutality to “get more confrontational.”
During a House GOP news conference on Tuesday, Scalise was pressed on Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-AL) incendiary remarks during a “Stop the Steal” rally hours before a mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol on Jan. 6. Brooks told the crowd on the day of the joint session of Congress ratifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory that “today is the day that American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”
Scalise, who peddled former President Trump’s bogus claims of a “stolen election,” insisted that he has been “very clear” in speaking out against any kind of political rhetoric that incites violence. Scalise, of course, was shot during a shooting attack on lawmakers during a congressional baseball game in 2017.
The House minority whip then pointed to remarks issued by the judge overseeing former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s trial in the death of George Floyd, who suggested that Waters’ comments could be grounds for appealing a verdict in the trial. Scalise then slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her strong defense of the Democratic congresswoman as Republicans’ cry foul over her remarks.
“(Waters) was trying to incite violence and in fact there is violence going on right now in Minnesota because of her actions,” Scalise said.
Much like McCarthy, Scalise accused Waters of making “inflammatory” comments in the past, before expressing his support for the House minority leader’s move to censure Waters.
“I’d like to see Maxine Waters apologize for the inflammatory comments she’s made in inciting violence. It’s a powder keg down there, the last thing you want to do is make it worse,” Scalise said while referring again to the remarks made by the judge in Chauvin’s trial.
Pressed again on whether his colleague Brooks should apologize for his remarks hours before the deadly Capitol insurrection, Scalise deflected and instead complained about Democrats not condemning Waters’ remarks.
Conveniently ignoring the fact that he’s denied Trump helped incite the mob behind the Capitol attack, the House minority whip accused Democrats of only wanting to “speak out on one side of the aisle, not on both.”
Scalise defended the former president when asked about why he had not criticized Trump’s speech at the “Stop the Steal” rally hours before the breaching of the Capitol. Trump told the crowd of his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn the election results.
Scalise replied that Trump used the word “peaceful” when speaking to the crowd of his supporters, without acknowledging that the then-President also called on his supporters to display “strength” as lawmakers met to certify Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“I haven’t heard Maxine saying anything about peacefully protesting,” Scalise said. “She’s talked about violence. I think the word is ‘get more confrontational in the streets if the verdict goes the wrong way.’ There’s nothing peaceful about that.”
Watch Scalise’s remarks below:
Scalise explains that the difference to him between Trump inciting a mob that rioted at the Capitol and what Maxine Waters said is that Trump at one point used the word "peacefully" pic.twitter.com/8sI8jETSbZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 20, 2021