GOP senator pushes back on Trump’s attacks on Maxine Waters’s intelligence

GOP senator pushes back on Trump’s attacks on Maxine Waters’s intelligence

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms GOP senator disinvited to Republican event over vote against Trump's emergency declaration Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Mo.) on Sunday pushed back on President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE’s attacks on Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDems concerned impeachment will make Trump 'appear like a victim,' says pollster Trump calls Biden 'low I.Q. individual' after verbal slip On The Money: Senate rejects border declaration in rebuke to Trump | Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns | Waters says Wells Fargo should fire its CEO MORE’s (D-Calif.) intelligence, saying she is "very smart and very calculating." 

"[There are] a lot of things ... you could say about Maxine Waters, but to indicate she’s not a bright person is not one of them," Blunt said on NBC's "Meet the Press." 

"I embrace her as a person who has given a lot of time to public service and has a different viewpoint than I do, but it’s not a viewpoint that’s not based on her factual viewpoint of the world," Blunt said, referring to Waters.

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Blunt made these comments when host Chuck Todd pressed him on Trump's attacks on the intelligence of African-American public figures. Trump has often referred to Waters as a "low-IQ individual," sometimes claiming that she is “somewhere in the mid-60s.” Over the weekend, the president also questioned the intelligence of CNN anchor Don Lemon and NBA star LeBron James, both of whom are black. 

Todd asked Blunt if he is concerned that Trump is defining the GOP as "anti-black" after reading a tweet from Peter Wehner, a veteran of multiple Republican presidential administrations. 

"Trump's made the same criticism of black athletes, black journalists & black Members of Congress," Wehner tweeted. "He attacks their intelligence. His racist appeals aren't even disguised anymore. The closest figure in modern national politics to Trump? George Wallace. Trump now defines the GOP."

Blunt said, however, the GOP is "not anti-black."

"I think you’ve got to be more careful in our society about what you say about people who are different from you," Blunt said.