Hours after being sworn in, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., told a cheering crowd of supporters on Thursday that the Democrats “are gonna impeach the motherf—er” in a video posted online.
Tlaib, a Detroit native who is one of the first two Muslim women and the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, is seen recalling her son’s response to her election.
“When your son looks at you and said, ‘Mamma, look you won, bullies don’t win,'” she tells a cheering crowd. “And I said, baby, they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf—er.”
The exchange was captured on camera by an immigration activist, who also posted a group selfie with Tlaib. NBC News has not verified the authenticity of the video, but has reached out to the representative and activist for comment.
Tlaib, seeming to acknowledge the remark Friday morning, tweeted, “I will always speak truth to power.”
And her office issue a statement later Friday morning standing by her remarks.
“Congresswoman Tlaib was elected to shake up Washington, not continue the status quo,” the statement said. “Donald Trump is completely unfit to serve as President. The Congresswoman absolutely believes he needs to be impeached and … will not stay silent.”
Impeaching President Donald Trump is quickly becoming a flashpoint for Democrats, with some in the progressive wing of the party — including Tlaib — calling for impeachment proceedings while others have urged the party to focus on legislating. In an opinion article she co-wrote that was published in The Detroit Press Press on Thursday, Tlaib argued that proceedings should begin immediately.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., quickly took issue with Tlaib’s comments.
“I don’t really like that kind of language. But more to the point, I disagree with what she said. It is too early to talk about that intelligently,” Nadler, whose committee would oversee any impeachment effort, said on CNN on Friday morning.
“We have to follow the facts; we have to get the facts,” he added. “That’s why it is important to protect the Mueller investigation. That’s why it’s important to do our own inquiry. … We’ll see where the facts lead — and maybe that will lead to impeachment. Maybe it won’t, but it’s much too early.”
House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told NBC earlier Thursday that impeachment will hinge on the outcome of the investigation into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, but she didn’t rule it out.
Trump addressed the calls for impeachment in a series of tweets Friday morning, asking how he could be removed from office after winning “perhaps the greatest election of all time” and claiming to have had the most successful first two years of any president.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said impeachment efforts would not succeed, and were a ploy to boost Democrats in 2020.
“Look, you’re not going to impeach this president when he’s had two of the most successful years in modern history that any president has had,” Sanders said.
The daughter of immigrants, Tlaib served in the Michigan legislature and later as a legal advocate. She’s a progressive Democrat, with a long list of endorsements from the left, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
After wearing a traditional Palestinian thobe for her swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, Tlaib inspired women on social media to post photos of their own traditional garb with the hashtag #TweetYourThobe.