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Booker OK with calling out Trump administration officials in a way that 'leads with love'

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDemocrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration MORE (D-N.J.) on Monday urged protesters of President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report MORE to confront administration officials — but with respect — amid an ongoing debate over civility in politics.

“If I saw an administrator out and about, there’s nothing wrong with confronting that person. But not to lead with love and to do it in a way that is more reflective of the values we are trying to reject in our country is not acceptable to me,” Booker said on MSNBC. 

“I worry in our country right now that we’re descending to a hatred of American hating American. That is not going to solve our problems,” he added. 

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Booker’s comments come amid a growing discussion over the recent treatment of Trump administration officials.

A restaurant in Lexington, Va., refused to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday, citing her defense of Trump’s policies banning transgender people from the military and separating migrant families at the border.

That followed separate incidents last week in which protesters confronted White House aide Stephen Miller and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' House Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing Acting DHS chief Chad Wolf stepping down MORE while they dined at Mexican restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Maxine Walters (D-Calif.) escalated tensions when she encouraged supporters to harass Trump administration officials in public places.

"For these members of his Cabinet who remain and try to defend him they're not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they're not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they're not going to be able to shop at a department store, the people are going to turn on them, they're going to protest, they're going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they're going to tell the president 'no I can't hang with you, this is wrong this is unconscionable and we can't keep doing this to children,’” Waters said Saturday.

The president has seized on the controversy, attacking Waters as “low IQ” and using his personal account to call the Red Hen dirty.

Booker on Monday encouraged Americans to protest Trump administration policies, specifically the separation of migrant families at the border. However, he appeared to reject Waters’s rhetoric.

“We’ve got to get to a point in our country where we can talk to each other, where we are all seeking a more beloved community,” Booker said. “And some of those tactics that people are advocating for to me don’t reflect that spirit.”