“Can I help you?”
Rep. Maxine Waters seemed cordial appearing before reporters in early January. It was just one week before then President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The longtime congresswoman from California then switched it all up.
“What do you want?” she fumed.
Waters and other Democrats had just left a classified briefing with FBI Director James Comey on Russian hacking.
It didn’t go well.
“All I can tell you is that the FBI Director has no credibility.”
With that, Waters was gone. It was the latest no-holds barred soundbite from the longtime Democratic congresswoman from California. Since Trump’s election victory in November, Waters has been front and center voicing her opposition to everything from his cabinet picks to his press conferences and executive orders.
She’s consistently questioned whether November’s results should be trusted altogether.`
“I am so offended by the president,” Waters told theGrio.com in an interview. “The way that he has treated people, the way that he has lied, the way that he has disrespected people; and in addition to that, of course, I’m offended by the way that he is trying to dismantle the public policy that I work so hard on.”
Waters has been adamant in her belief that Trump’s presidency has created an unprecedented number of ethical concerns. Her candor and no-nonsense approach to politics and issues may be new to some, but Waters has been at it for some 37 years in public service.
“I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and to get on out there and do what my heart tells me to do,” Waters explained. “A lot of people are thinking this is something new for me. Actually, it’s not; I was very well-known for being outspoken on the hot button issues.”
Waters is a ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. She recently introduced a bill demanding Congress investigate any financial dealings between Trump and the Russian government that are “obvious” conflicts of interest.
“I do think that he his guilty not only of colluding on the issue of Russia and their involvement of undermining our democracy, but there’s so many conflicts of interests out there that have not surfaced,” Waters insisted. “So I think there is a lot there. I dare to use ‘impeachment’ because I believe that people have to know and understand that some of us are taking it seriously.”
Although Trump has been in office for less than a month, Waters insists her proposed bill was not made in haste. She says there are members of Congress who are willing to do the investigative work.
“This is not normal, none of us have ever seen anything like this,” Waters said. “We feel that he doesn’t have respect for protocol or government.”
Don’t expect to see Waters on a presidential debate stage for Democrats in four years — she says the only thing she’s running for is re-election in Congress.
“The first thing that we’ve really got to really commit to is that we’re not going to live with this man for four more years,” Waters said. “Impeachment is my goal. Secondly, we’ve got to understand that midterm elections are extremely important. We’ve got to get people registered to vote, turning out to vote.”
Ashantai Hathaway is a reporter at theGrio. Keep up with her on Twitter @AshantaiH