By bgriffiths@politico.com (Brent D. Griffiths)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Friday night defended the explicit language she used in calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, after her comments to liberal activists that Democrats would “impeach the motherf—er” sparked intense pushback within her own party and a personal denouncement from the president.

“It’s probably exactly how my grandmother, if she was alive, would say it,” Tlaib (D-Mich.) said during an interview with a Michigan TV station of her Thursday night vow at an event hosted by MoveOn.Org near the Capitol.

Tlaib, with her children by her side, said: “When your son looks at you and says, ‘Momma look, you won, bullies don’t win,’ and I said ‘Baby they don’t,’ because we’re going to go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf—er.” Her comments were seen in a now deleted video on Twitter and reported by the Washington Post and the Huffington Post.

While some House Democrats have been open about their desire to impeach the president, many were aghast that their new colleague would use such language. As POLITICO reported earlier, even Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who introduced an impeachment resolution earlier this week, was shocked when he heard what Tlaib had said.

“That’s not language I would use,” Sherman said, after appearing visibly flummoxed when told of Tlaib’s comments. “I think the office of the presidency should be treated with respect.”

Perhaps acknowledging some of that blow-back, Tlaib said in the interview Friday that she understands “things that I say are elevated on a national level,” but where she is from in Detroit, that’s just how people talk.

“I am very passionate, and I grew up in an incredibly beautiful, urban community — the city of Detroit — born and raised,” she said. “We say colorful things in interesting ways, but I tell you, the president of the United States is my focus. The residents back home are my focus.”

Addressing the comments at the White House, Trump, no stranger to profanity himself, said Tlaib’s statement was “disgraceful” and “a great dishonor to her and to her family.”

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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