Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) issued a defiant response on Thursday to being targeted by homemade mail bombs, declaring in an online video, “I ain’t scared.”
Waters was among the 10 prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump who were sent packages containing explosive devices this week. All of the packages were intercepted before reaching their intended targets.
The FBI said Wednesday that two packages addressed to Waters’s offices in Los Angeles and Washington were recovered by authorities.
In a video of an interview posted Thursday by the website Blavity, Waters said “we must not be intimidated” in the wake of such violent threats.
“We have to keep doing what we’re doing in order to make this country right,” Waters said. “That’s what I intend to do. And as the young people say, ‘I ain’t scared.’ ”
Waters is one of Trump’s most vocal critics, and the president has frequently used her as a foil on the campaign trail, referring to her as a “low I.Q. individual.”
In Thursday’s video, the California Democrat did not hold back on her criticism of Trump, who she said “should take responsibility for the kind of violence that we’re seeing for the first time in different ways.”
She noted that in remarks at a recent rally, the president praised Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for body-slamming a journalist.
“I think the president of the United States has been dog-whistling to his constituency, making them believe that their problems are caused by ‘those people’ over there,” Waters said. “And I think that they are acting out what they believe the president wants them to do.”
In recent months, Republicans have seized on remarks Waters made at a rally in which she called for supporters to confront Trump administration officials wherever they go. Waters has maintained that she was not calling for violence.
She urged caution in Thursday’s video, telling viewers, “Of course, we must be wise.”
“We must not be foolish and act in foolish ways,” she said. “But we should never stop the struggle and the fight for justice and equality in this country.”
Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Alex Horton contributed to this report.