Democratic congresswoman apologizes for 'distraction' caused by calling Trump a 'motherf-----'

House Dems
Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., right, and Gwen Moore, D-Wis., leave a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol on Jan. 4, 2019. Copyright Tom Williams CQ-Roll Call, Inc.
Copyright Tom Williams CQ-Roll Call, Inc.
By Allan Smith with NBC News Politics
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Rep. Rashida Tlaib said "the only thing I will apologize for" is "that it was a distraction."


Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib apologized Tuesday for causing a "distraction" by calling President Donald Trump a "motherf-----" last week.

At a progressive event after her swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, the newly elected congresswoman from Michigan was recorded saying "we're gonna go in there and we're gonna impeach the motherf-----!"

Responding to the ensuing controversy soon after, Tlaib stood by her remarks, saying she is for impeaching Trump.

"I ran on that," she said. "It's probably exactly how my grandmother, if she was alive, would say it."

On Tuesday, Tlaib was asked if she had any regrets about the comments.

"What I can tell you is that I am a person that is authentically me," she said. "I'm very passionate about fighting for all of us, and the use of that language, you know, was a teachable moment for me. And I understand I am a member of Congress, and I don't want anything that I do or say distract us. And that's the only thing I will apologize for, is that it was a distraction."

She added that she has "a right to be this passionate, this upset."

"But, however, we have a course that we have to stick to, and nothing I should say should distract us from that," she said. "The [partial government] shutdown has to be at the forefront."

Prominent Democrats put distance between themselves and Tlaib's comments, though many pointed out that her words were no worse than remarks made by the president himself, who called a porn star alleging an affair with him "horseface," nicknamed Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California "little Adam Schitt," and, most infamously, saying in a 2005 "Access Hollywood" recording that he could "grab" women "by the p----."

On impeachment, Democrats have said they are waiting for special counsel Robert Mueller to wrap up his investigation before any further determinations are made.

Speaking with NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said he believes any discussion of impeachment at the moment is a "distraction."

"We'll have to see what the Mueller report says," he said.

On Friday, Trump responded to Tlaib's comments, saying he thought "she dishonored herself and her family using language like that in front of her son and whoever else was there."

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