Waters’ statement says she received an increased number of hate calls and death threats after President Donald Trump attacked her on Twitter Monday and in a series of other comments.
“As the president has continued to lie and falsely claim that I encouraged people to assault his supporters, while also offering a veiled threat that I should ‘be careful,’ even more individuals are leaving [threatening] messages and sending hostile mail to my office,” Waters said.
“There was one very serious death threat made against me on Monday from an individual in Texas which is why my planned speaking engagements in Texas and Alabama were cancelled this weekend ... individuals threatened to shoot, lynch, or cause me serious bodily harm,” she added.
Waters’ speech at a rally last Saturday in Los Angeles and later on MSNBC set off a furious debate about civility in politics, with some of Waters’ colleagues in the Democratic Party criticizing her too. Her supporters say that Trump himself has set a basement standard for civility and that policies such as separating immigrant children from their parents are monstrous and should be denounced.
Waters issued her call for protesters to confront members of the Trump administration on the street and at businesses after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant last Friday.
Restaurant owner Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post that she’d explained to Sanders that her business has “certain standards” to uphold, “such as honesty and compassion.” Last Tuesday, protesters hounded Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen out of a Mexican restaurant in Washington.
Trump accused Waters of threatening harm to people. The congresswoman said Monday that she believes in “very peaceful” protests and never called for violence or harm against anyone.