Black women leaders rip into top Dems for not defending Maxine Waters
© Greg Nash

Almost 200 black women leaders and allies have criticized House and Senate minority leaders for "failure to protect" Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDems digging into Trump finances post-Mueller Michael Steele: A missed opportunity at holding banks accountable On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars MORE (D-Calif.) from "unwarranted attacks from the Trump administration" and GOP leaders, Politico reported Wednesday.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the women wrote to share their "profound indignation and deep disappointment” that the lawmakers didn't aid Waters after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE launched a string of attacks on her.

Waters was criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike after she encouraged opponents of Trump to push back against administration officials when they are seen in public.

The congresswoman called for the public confrontations in June after several members of the Trump administration were confronted by protesters at restaurants, including White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenOvernight Energy: Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to sow division over coal jobs | NYC passes sweeping climate bill likened to 'Green New Deal' | EPA official says agency may ban asbestos | Energy Dept. denies Perry planning exit The Hill's 12:30 Report: Inside the Mueller report Energy Dept denies report that Rick Perry is planning to leave Trump admin MORE.

Trump falsely claimed that Waters was urging people to harm his supporters.

“Disparaging or failing to support Congresswoman Waters is an affront to her and Black women across the country and telegraphs a message that the Democratic Party can ill afford: that it does not respect Black women's leadership and political power and discounts the impact of Black women and millennial voters," the groups wrote in the letter.

“We further believe Congresswoman Waters is owed an apology for your public comments insinuating she is 'uncivil' and 'un- American' for challenging the Trump Administration.”

The group — which included some men — was made up of local elected officials, religious leaders, academics, activists and others in the political realm. 

Last week, Waters said she was forced to cancel public events following the attacks from Trump.

At an immigration rally in Los Angeles over the weekend, she said anyone considering hurting her had “better shoot straight. There’s nothing like a wounded animal.” The comments came in response to a death threat she received earlier in the week.

Trump hit at Waters again on Tuesday, predicted that her "ranting and raving, even referring to herself as a wounded animal," would drive people away from the Democratic Party. 

Pelosi’s office released a statement Wednesday that said Waters “is a valued leader whose passionate call for family reunification should be heard without any threats to her safety.”

“Donald Trump has sullied the bully pulpit with reckless disregard for the safety of others,” the statement said. “He should stop his attacks on Congresswoman Waters and all Members of Congress, the free press, and all Americans who have the right and the responsibility to speak their minds.”