Ryan calls on Maxine Waters to apologize for urging harassment of Trump officials

Ryan calls on Maxine Waters to apologize for urging harassment of Trump officials
© Greg Nash

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) on Tuesday called on Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersWhich proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? House Democrats scramble to save housing as Biden eyes cuts Toomey takes aim at Schumer's spending windfall for NYC public housing MORE (D-Calif.) to apologize for urging supporters to “confront” and “harass” top Trump officials in restaurants and other public places.

“There is no place for this. She obviously should apologize," Ryan told reporters at the Capitol.

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“When we, in this democracy, are suggesting that because we disagree with each other’s political views and policy views and philosophical views, that we should resort to violence and harassment and intimidation, that’s dangerous for our society, that’s dangerous for our democracy,” Ryan continued. “She should apologize and there is just no place for that in our public discourse.”

Waters, who has voted to impeach President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE, said at a rally over the weekend that those who oppose Trump's policies should confront his Cabinet members wherever they encounter them.

"If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said in Los Angeles.

Her comments came after a restaurant owner in Virginia refused to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and protesters ran Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenFar-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema — it won't work Ex-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP Left-leaning group to track which companies hire former top Trump aides MORE out of a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Waters defended her remarks in multiple media interviews and again to House Democratic colleagues during a private caucus meeting Tuesday morning. According to lawmakers in the room, Waters said she has a right to express herself under the First Amendment and that she does not support or condone violence.

However, Trump suggested Monday that Waters had called on Democrats to “harm” his supporters.

“Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill Sunday shows - Democrats' spending plan in the spotlight Pelosi won't say if she'll run for reelection in 2022 MORE, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement,” Trump tweeted. “Be careful what you wish for Max!”

Lawmakers from both parties have experienced violent confrontations first hand. In January 2011, then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) was nearly killed in a shooting in Tucson that left six dead and many others injured. And last summer, House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseThe 9 Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — US cracks down on tools for foreign hacking House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure MORE (R-La.) was critically injured after a gunman opened fire on Republicans practicing in Alexandria, Va., for a charity baseball game.

“We’ve got to be real careful about how we discuss our differences,” Scalise told reporters Tuesday. “Nobody should be inciting harassment or violence of any sort just because we disagree with each other on issues.”