Threats of physical harm – including at least one credible death threat – have increased for Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) after President Donald Trump misinterpreted her call to publicly confront his administration as a call for violence against Trump supporters.
"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," she said in a statement.
"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 (sic) this weekend," she continued. "This is just one in several very serious threats the United States Capitol Police are investigating in which individuals threatened to shoot, lynch, or cause me serious bodily harm."
Last week, Waters took heat from both parties after telling her supporters they should confront members of the Trump administration any time they encounter them in public.
Her comments, fueled by frustration over migrant families separated at the border, came at the end of a week when Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled by activists at a restaurant in Washington, DC, and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia.
Trump tweeted that Waters had called for “harm” to his supporters, but Waters has adamantly held that her intent was protest and not violence:
"I believe in peaceful, very peaceful protests," she said Monday on Capitol Hill. "I have not called for the harm of anybody. This President has lied again when he's saying that I've called for harm."
Earlier this year, a man pleaded guilty to threatening the congresswoman last year.
"I don't cry about protests," Waters said earlier this week. "People protest me all the time. People come to my district office. That's their right. The only time I have anything to say about protests is when they threaten to kill me, then I turn that in. Otherwise, protests is the American way."