Pelosi rebukes Maxine Waters for Trump-harassment plea

By Art Moore

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rebuked fellow Democrat Maxine Waters on Monday for calling for more harassment of Trump administration officials in public spaces in response to the Republican administration’s immigration policies.

“In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again,” Pelosi tweeted, referencing Waters remarks Saturday. “Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea.”

Waters, declaring “God is on our side,” urged supporters to step up resistance to Trump, claiming the president is “sacrificing our children.”

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Speaking at a toy drive outside the Wilshire Federal Building in Los Angeles, she drew loud applause for confronting a policy in effect under the Obama administration that requires children to be temporarily separated from parents who are being prosecuted for crossing the U.S. border illegally.

“Already you have members of your cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants,” said Waters.

Vowing to “win this battle,” she urged supporters: “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!”

On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and family members were booted from a central Virginia restaurant by the owner because of her association with the administration’s immigration policies.

Trump reacted Monday in a tweet.

“The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” Trump wrote.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled at a Mexican restaurant in Washington last Tuesday night. On Friday, the progressive group CREDO Action organized a protest outside Nielsen’s home, playing audio of crying immigrant children while chanting “No justice, no sleep!” Fox News reported the protesters shouted at the DHS secretary as she walked from her home to her car.

An ACLU leader has warned that any Washington, D.C., establishments considered the kind of action taken against Sanders should think twice, according to the news website Law&Crime.

David Cole, national Legal Director of the ACLU, explained to the site that public accommodations laws prohibit businesses that are open to the public from discriminating against people based on certain characteristics.

Only three jurisdictions protect against discriminatory refusals of service based on political affiliation or opinion, Cole said, but one of them is Washington, D.C.

Law&Crime noted the issue of public accommodations laws came up this month in the Masterpiece Cake Shop case, which pitted the interests of gay rights against religious freedom. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the baker, who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple based on his Christian beliefs. The court cited a state commission that showed hostility towards his beliefs and didn’t give him a fair hearing.

The acting deputy secretary of homeland security, meanwhile, warned employees Saturday that “there may be a heightened threat” against them, according to a memo obtained by CBS News.

“This assessment is based on specific and credible threats that have been levied against certain DHS employees and a sharp increase in the overall number of general threats against DHS employees — although the veracity of each threat varies,” says the message from Claire M. Grady. “In addition, over the last few days, thousands of employees have had their personally identifiable information publically [sic] released on social media.”

On Friday night, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was accosted by threats and shouts of “Shame on you” at a screening of the new documentary on Fred Rogers of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” fame.

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