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Trump slams 'low IQ' Rep. Maxine Waters who called for harassment of White House officials

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 6/25/2018 William Cummings

President Donald Trump warned Rep. Maxine Waters on Monday to "be careful what you wish for" after the California Democrat called on activists to confront White House officials over their immigration policies wherever possible. 

"Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party," Trump tweeted. "She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!" 

Trump was referring to a fiery speech Waters delivered to a crowd Saturday in Los Angeles in which the congresswoman called for opponents of the Trump administration's immigration policies to harass Cabinet members wherever possible. 

"Already you have members of your Cabinet who have been booed out of restaurants," a passionate Waters said in remarks directed at the president. Waters was apparently pointing to an incident last week in which Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was confronted by protesters at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the owner of a Virginia restaurant asked her to leave Friday night because of her association with Trump.

"Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up," Waters told the crowd. "And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere." 

The congresswoman called for the immediate reunification of migrant families that were separated by immigration officials after being detained along the southern border. 

She also said detaining children would not force Congress to fund construction of a border wall and called for Trump's impeachment in the face of the ongoing Russia investigation.

More: Rep. Maxine Waters claps back at Bill O'Reilly after hair insult

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In his tweet, Trump inaccurately identified the target of Waters' ire as all Trump supporters rather than just Cabinet members. And it is unclear where Waters "called for harm" to those supporters, although perhaps inferred that from Waters' call to "push back on them." 

Trump's tweet Monday was not the first time he attacked the African-American congresswoman's intelligence. The president also referred to Waters as a "very low I.Q. individual" at a Pittsburgh political rally in March

The heated rhetoric from both Trump and Waters, combined with the treatment of Nielsen and Sanders, has sparked concerns that civility in American politics is disappearing

"This is absolutely insane — and extremely dangerous," said Meghan McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in a tweet Saturday. McCain added that her father-in-law works in the Trump administration. 

"Does this mean when we go out to dinner we should be ambushed?" she asked.

"Elected officials have a higher responsibility to try to uphold norms of civility," conservative commentator (and outspoken Trump critic) Bill Kristol told CNN's Jake Tapper Monday. And while he thought Waters' remarks to be "foolish," Kristol said there's "no question that President Trump, in my opinion, is the main offender here."

"We're getting close to incitement of violence on both sides," Kristol said. "This is how a constitutional republic degenerates." 

Opinion: If Democrats think harassing Trump officials will build a blue wave, they should think again

More: Is America headed toward a civil war? Sanders, Nielsen incidents show it has already begun

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