Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocratic bill would force Fed to defund fossil fuels Democrats brace for battle on Biden's .5 trillion spending plan 'Squad' members call on Biden to shut down Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota MORE (D-Mich.) said Tuesday she is sorry that her "impeach the motherf---er" comment about President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE last week was a "distraction," but added that she will not apologize for the sentiment behind the remark.
"I am a person that is authentically me," Tlaib said at a Michigan Veterans Foundation event. "I’m very passionate about fighting for all of us, and the use of that language was a teachable moment for me."
"I understand that I am a member of Congress, and I don’t want anything that I do or say to distract us. And that’s the only thing that I apologize for — that it was a distraction," Tlaib added.
Rep. Tlaib on "impeach the motherf---er" comment: "I don’t want anything that I do or say distract us. And that’s the only thing I will apologize for, is that it was a distraction ... I want you to know that I will never apologize for being me, and for being passionate and upset" pic.twitter.com/4Mp7nbvPZR— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 8, 2019
Tlaib's initial remarks gained widespread attention last week, sparking criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-Calif.), when asked about Tlaib's remarks last week, said she has a "generational reaction to it" but that she is "not in the censorship business." GOP leaders have called for Tlaib to apologize.
"I have a right to be this passionate, this upset," Tlaib said on Tuesday, according to The Detroit News. "I am a woman of color … people like us never run for office and when we do, this is who we are."
"We’re as angry and upset as everybody else and passionate," she added. "However, we have a course that we have to stick to and nothing I should say should distract us from that."
Tlaib invoked the partial government shutdown, which has affected around 800,000 federal workers nationwide as it approaches the three-week mark.
"The shutdown has to be at the forefront, and that’s what I’m here for," she said.
When a reporter asked whether she would apologize for calling Trump a "motherf---er," she responded by saying, "I want you to know that I will never apologize for being me and for being passionate and upset."
Tlaib's office in a statement last week said she was "elected to shake up Washington, not continue the status quo."
"I will always speak truth to power," Tlaib wrote on Twitter on Friday. "#unapologeticallyMe.”