Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib made history on Thursday when she was officially sworn in as the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress. After taking her oath of office, Tlaib pledged that she and her fellow Democrats were going to "go in there and we're going to impeach the motherf*cker," referring to President Donald Trump. On Friday, Trump responded that Tlaib had "dishonored herself" and "dishonored her family" with her comments.
Tlaib's comments on Thursday came as she recounted to her supporters what her son told her after she won her Congressional race. "Bullies don't win," he said, to which she reportedly replied, "Baby, they don't." She then made her remark about impeachment, generating significant criticism from many Republicans and even a few Democrats. Trump — who, as Newsweek pointed out, once said on tape that he wanted to grab women by the "pussy" — condemned Tlaib's remarks as "highly disrespectful to the US of A" in a Friday afternoon press conference.
“I thought her comments were disgraceful,” Trump said, per TIME.
But newly-elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that although she personally would not use the language Tlaib had used, she did not find Tlaib's comments to be "any worse than what the president has said" in the past.
“I probably have a generational reaction to it, but in any event I’m not in the censorship business,” Pelosi told MSNBC.
For her part, Tlaib has made it clear on Friday that she has no regrets about what she said, tweeting that she "will always speak truth to power."
"This is not just about Donald Trump," Tlaib tweeted. "This is about all of us. In the face of this constitutional crisis, we must rise."
In a statement issued on Friday, Tlaib's office echoed this sentiment, explaining that the newly-elected Congresswoman was "elected to shake up Washington" and arguing that "Donald Trump is completely unfit to serve as President." The statement also pointed to an op-ed penned by Tlaib, in which she laid out her arguments for why the president deserves to be impeached.
"While Congress has the impeachment power to prevent future harm to our government, prosecutors have the power to seek punishment for those who commit crimes," Tlaib wrote in her op-ed, alongside co-writer and Trump impeachment advocate John Bonifaz. "Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment proceedings ignore this crucial distinction."
Although Tlaib's comments break with Pelosi and other senior Democrats who have urged caution and restraint on this issue, the Congresswoman from Michigan is not the only member of her party to call for Trump's impeachment. On Thursday, shortly after members of the 116th Congress were sworn in, California Rep. Brad Sherman reintroduced articles of impeachment against the president.
Trump, meanwhile, tweeted on Friday that Democrats only want to impeach him because he has “had the most successful first two years of any president" and they're worried they won't be able to beat him in 2020. Tlaib and many of her fellow Democrats, however, have made it clear that they are unlikely to stand down now that they control the majority in the House.