1. SOUNDBITE (English) Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, (D) New York:
"Chairwoman Waters has made clear, certainly the perspective of the House Democratic caucus is clear. We support peaceful protests consistent with the First Amendment, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the right to petition the government peacefully, that is what we continue to support. Now, Kevin McCarthy should focus on his own conference because the Republicans in the House are a mess right now. Perhaps he should sit this one out. When you think that Kevin McCarthy has the nerve to say something about anyone, when he supported the violent insurrection after the mob attacked the capitol, threatened to assassinate Nancy Pelosi, kill other members of Congress, hang Mike Pence He then came back to the Capitol, voted to support the big lie, which ignited the violent insurrection and continues to play footsie with Donald Trump."
2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Rep. Steve Scalise, (R) Louisiana:
"A lot of people have talked about the comments that other people have made and spoken out against it. Right now, I haven't heard any Democrats speaking out against what Maxine has said. And it's time for Democrats to speak out when they see it on both sides. They only want to speak out on one side of the aisle, not on both. And that hypocrisy, I think, is starting to shine through."
Maxine Waters has been a galvanizing figure for decades, speaking boldly for racial justice in communities across the country and enduring the harsh criticism that comes from being an outspoken Black woman in America.
The powerful congressional leader makes it a point to show up, as she did ahead of jury deliberations in the trial of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, accused in the death of George Floyd, the Black man pinned under the officer's knee last summer sparking global protests over police violence.
When Waters urged demonstrators to "stay on the street" in the pursuit of justice — namely, a guilty verdict — advocates of police reforms and racial equality viewed her commentary as another voice in the country's long march toward Civil Rights march.
But detractors, including the defense attorney and the judge hearing the case, pounced on it as incendiary rhetoric, as others piled on, shifting attention away from the white police officer on trial over the killing of a Black man and onto the congresswoman for raising her voice in protest.
Leading Republicans on Capitol Hill seized on the comments, the latest opportunity to attack Waters. On Tuesday, the GOP Whip Steve Scalise fended off questions about his party's own incendiary rhetoric, namely Donald Trump egging on the mob of supporters to storm the Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 riot.
"I would like to see Maxine Waters apologize for the inflammatory comments that she's made," he said.
Democrats rallied swiftly, and forcefully, to defend Waters as a Civil Rights leader for Black Americans and others, as they also called for calm in Minneapolis and elsewhere while the jury deliberates.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman, said Republican leaders need to "sit this one out."
Trials , General news , Law and order , Legal proceedings , Race and ethnicity , African-Americans , Legislature , Government and politics , Social affairs , Social issues , Human rights and civil liberties
Nancy Pelosi , Hakeem Jeffries , Steve Scalise , Donald Trump , George Floyd , Maxine Waters , Derek Chauvin , Michael Pence
United States House of Representatives, United States government, United States Congress