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 BluntSenators weigh traveling amid coronavirus ahead of Memorial Day GOP senators: More relief needed now Top Republican says Trump greenlit budget fix for VA health care MORE (R-Mo.) on Sunday pushed back on President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump in new ad: 'The death toll is still rising.' 'The president is playing golf' Brazil surpasses Russia with second-highest coronavirus case count in the world Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE’s attacks on Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersTop bank regulator announces abrupt resignation GOP pulls support from California House candidate over 'unacceptable' social media posts Bank regulator unveils new anti-redlining rules ahead of expected departure 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.