President Donald Trump lashed out on Monday at a Democratic congresswoman, Maxine Waters, deriding her as a woman with ‘an extraordinarily low IQ’.
The African-American woman, who will be eighty years old in August, earned Trump’s insult after she urged Americans to confront members of Trump’s inner circle in public as tensions rose over the Republican president’s hardline immigration policy.
Trump faced a global outcry, including criticism from some in his own Republican Party, this month over migrant children who were separated from their parents because of the administration’s policy of seeking to detain and prosecute everyone caught entering the country illegally.
The president caved on Wednesday, issuing an executive order that ended the separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. But political tensions are still running high as the two-month-old “zero tolerance” policy remains in place, raising questions about where to house families detained at the border and how to process them speedily. The government has yet to reunite more than 2,000 children with their parents.
Maxine Waters told a crowd in her home state of California on Sunday that a decision on Friday by a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, to refuse service to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders should be a model for resisting Trump.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents,” Waters said.
Trump, who often targets Waters, reacted on Twitter, lumping her in with House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
The president has stepped up his attacks on Democrats in recent weeks as the races for congressional elections in November start coming into focus.
“Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!” he said.
Last week, as Trump was defending his immigration policy, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was confronted at a Mexican restaurant in Washington by protesters yelling “Shame! Shame!”
Pelosi called for cooler heads on both sides.
“In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again. Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea,” she said.
Maxine Moore Waters, an African-American was born August 15, 1938. She has been representing since 2013 in the House of Representative California’s 43rd congressional district.
She previously served as the U.S. Representative for California’s 35th and 29th districts.
She was first elected in 1990 and re-elected since.
She is the most senior of the 12 black women currently serving in the United States Congress, and is a member and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Before becoming a member of Congress she served in the California Assembly, to which she was first elected in 1976.
As an Assembly member, Waters advocated divestment from South Africa’s apartheid regime. In Congress, she has been an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War and a critic of Republican Presidents George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
She had a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University.