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Maxine Waters: Trump is trying to ‘blackmail’ Dems into ending investigations
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Rep. Maxine Waters went on MSNBC’s Hardball Wednesday to bash President Donald Trump for bowing out of an infrastructure deal with the Democrats.
President Trump walked away from negotiations Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused Trump of a “cover-up,” but in the eyes of the Democrats, the bad faith is all on Trump’s side. For her part, Waters (D-CA) called Trump’s refusal to negotiate an attempt to “blackmail” his opponents into abandoning their investigations and speculated that the president was never interested in making a deal.
Waters: Trump attempting ‘blackmail’
Chris Matthews teed things up for Waters by accusing the “petulant” Trump of holding the country “hostage” because Congress is “doing their constitutional duty to investigate him.” Waters agreed, saying that she “never trusted” that Trump was really genuine about working with Democrats on infrastructure.
“I was concerned about the fact that he even pretended that he was going to negotiate with the Speaker and with [New York Sen. Chuck] Schumer about infrastructure,” Waters said. “I never trusted him and, of course, it turns out, today he’s made up an excuse about why not going to proceed with them on infrastructure and, basically, blackmailing them and talking about if you want to get infrastructure, you got to stop all investigations. I think that’s outrageous. But that’s typical of the president of the United States. And I never trusted that he was going to get infrastructure done.”
Trump walked out of meeting with Pelosi and Schumer after Pelosi accused the president of engaging in a criminal “cover-up” following a Wednesday morning impeachment huddle with her caucus. The comment prompted Trump to abruptly halt the infrastructure talks for an impromptu press conference in the Rose Garden, where he called on Democrats to drop their investigations before negotiations continue.
“If he’s simply going to leverage [infrastructure] and use it to threaten Nancy Pelosi and Schumer in exchange for quitting all of the investigations, well, we got a problem. We have a real problem because we’re not going to allow him to intimidate or threaten us,” Waters said.
Watch Waters’ comments below:
Like Waters, Schumer and Pelosi attempted to shift blame for the aborted infrastructure talks by claiming that the Trump planned on walking away all along. Schumer said that Trump was using a “pre-planned” excuse and that the walkout was not spontaneous, but a “stunt.”
Schumer stated that Trump is using their ongoing investigations as an excuse to suddenly end the negotiations, noting that the investigations were already underway when Trump made a provisional deal with the Democrats three weeks ago. However, Pelosi’s accusation of a “cover-up” seems to have been the breaking point.
Good faith, bad faith
Waters, one of the most strident critics of Trump in Congress, has long been one of the fiercest advocates for impeachment. Despite Robert Mueller’s finding of no collusion, Waters hasn’t backed off from incendiary impeachment rhetoric and has even continued to accuse Trump of conspiring with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
While Waters’ impeachment demands are still on the fringe, her endless slander of the president clearly isn’t, as Pelosi’s outburst shows. Democrats have spent the weeks since Mueller’s investigation ended continuing to investigate and smear the president; blackball and threaten his attorney general and former White House lawyer with imprisonment, fines, and contempt charges; and accuse Trump of bringing America to the brink of a “constitutional crisis.”
Before accusing Trump of a criminal “cover-up,” Pelosi accused Attorney General William Barr of the same for weeks and even alleged that he perjured himself before Congress. Then came the Wednesday bombshell.
“We believe that no one is above the law including the president of the United States. And we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,” Pelosi said.
Trump didn’t want to negotiate with people who are continuing to accuse him of treason without evidence, but it’s the president who is “blackmailing” his adversaries?
Waters, who chairs the Financial Services Committee, is also pursuing Trump’s financial records. Trump fired back Thursday morning, saying the Democrats are not interested in legislation, only wasting time with an unprecedented abuse of power.
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