‘Clean up your mess, Kevin’: Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries responds to Maxine Waters censure effort by telling GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to ‘sit this one out’

hakeem jeffries
House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., speaks during a press conference on Feb. 3, 2021.

  • Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries admonished Republican efforts to censure Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters.
  • Jeffries argued that GOP leaders are hypocrites for condemning Waters’ comments urging protesters to “get more confrontational.”
  • “Clean up your mess, Kevin. Sit this one out,” Jeffries said, referring to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
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Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the 4th-highest ranking House Democrat, admonished Republican efforts to censure Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters and argued the GOP should deal with their own “mess” before attacking Democrats.

“Kevin McCarthy should focus on his own conference, because the Republicans in the House are a mess right now,” Jeffries told reporters. “Perhaps he should sit this one out.”

Jeffries named specific Republican lawmakers who’ve been mired in controversy in recent months.

“Lauren Boebert is a mess. Matt Gaetz is a mess. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a mess,” he said. “Clean up your mess, Kevin. Sit this one out.”

Waters is facing criticism for telling a group of supporters to “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murdering George Floyd, is acquitted. She made her comments during a visit to Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, where Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by a police officer last week.

“We’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational,” she said. “We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

The judge overseeing Chauvin’s trial called Waters’ remarks “abhorrent” and said they could warrant an appeal once the case is decided. The jury’s verdict is expected to be made public on Tuesday afternoon.

Republicans are planning to hold a vote to censure Waters on Tuesday afternoon. The party has refused to censure their own members who’ve been accused of making comments that incited violence, including before and during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Waters, saying the congresswoman’s remarks were “absolutely not” meant to incite violence.

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