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 Blunt‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration The border deal: What made it in, what got left out MORE (R-Mo.) on Sunday pushed back on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE’s attacks on Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersPrivate insurance plays a critical part in home mortgage ecosystem On The Money: Lawmakers closing in on border deal | Dems build case for Trump tax returns | Trump, Xi won't meet before trade deadline | Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony Waters in talks with Mnuchin for testimony on lifting of sanctions on Russian firms 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.