Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) angrily denounced members of the Trump administration as being 'scumbags' in an interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC Tuesday.
"I just think the American people have better understand what's going on," she yelled, "this is a bunch of scumbags. That's what they are. Who are all organized around making money."
"Those are very strong words, congresswoman," Hayes asked. "Who do you mean by that when you call them scumbags, who are you talking about."
All of these people who are organized with these oil and gas interests that's in the administration and friends of the president of the United States, this back-channelling that you see. These are all a bunch of scumbags, that's what they are.
"Secretary of state," Hayes asked for clarification, "you mean the secretary of state of the United States?"
Well I tell you this, Tillerson is there to get these sanctions lifted. I believe it, just watch him. He's gonna continue to work on it. This is important for him. He was there because he negotiated the deal with Exxon, with Putin.
Rep. @MaxineWaters: Trump friends and advisors with ties to Russia are "a bunch of scumbags" #innershttps://t.co/L8EBBvAQ3i
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) February 22, 2017
Rep. Waters is referring to the suspicions and outright accusations from many on the left that the Russians and Vladimir Putin have undue favor with this administration, leading many to believe that Trump has debts to Russia, or is being blackmailed. Republicans and Trump allies have vehemently denied the accusations and characterized them as growing from "fake news" conspiracy theories.
Rep. Waters was mocked by the right recently for attempting to criticize Trump but flubbing a geography detail that undermined her indignation. She's also one of the few representatives who has been calling for Trump's impeachment while fighting off her own accusations of corruption after being accused by the House Ethics committee of violations related to obtaining Federal aid for a bank in which her husband owned a financial stake. After a tumultuous and chaotic investigation, the panel ultimately concluded, based on the work of outside counsel, that Waters intended to intervene on behalf of all minority-owned banks, as opposed to merely the one in which her husband owned a financial stake, and cleared her of all charges. It was also found that Waters ended her involvement with the bank once she discovered it was seeking federal bailout funds.
*Note: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Waters was accused of corruption related to a charity scandal, rather than related to a bank in which her husband owned a financial stake. We regret the error.
**Note: A version of this story incorrectly stated that Waters' husband owned the bank under question, rather than owning a financial stake in the bank. We regret the error.