Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters clashed in a public hearing Wednesday with Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling over the escalating harassment of Trump administration officials.
Waters controversially called over the weekend for protesters to accost members of the Trump Cabinet -- this, after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and other senior officials were pressured to leave restaurants amid the immigration debate.
So while sitting next to Waters at a House Financial Services Committee hearing Wednesday morning, Chairman Hensarling called on those who promote diversity to also promote “diversity of thought.”
“I also lament, as I look back, that there was a time in America’s history where you could be denied service in a restaurant based on the color of your skin. Now, apparently, it’s the color of your voter registration card,” Hensarling said.
Hensarling did not mention Waters by name but did address his colleagues on the committee, where Waters sits as top Democrat.
“To all my colleagues, particularly those who disagree with my political views, I don’t own a restaurant. But if I owned a restaurant in Dallas, I want you to know that you’d be welcome there and I’d be proud to be seen with you,” he said.
He added, “I would not yield you the moral high ground, I would not lessen my passion for individual liberty and economic opportunity, but I would listen carefully to your views and I would seek common ground with you.”
Waters took exception to his comments, and responded with a fiery retort.
“Let me just say that I think every reasonable person [has] concluded that the president of the United States of America has advocated violence, he has been divisive, and he has been the one that has caused what we see happening today, where people are trying to push back on his policies and where people are trying to have protests instead of violence but he continues to call names and he continues to challenge people in very violent ways,” she said.
She went on to quote a number of statements Trump had made, particularly about how he’d like to punch protesters demonstrating at his rallies. Hensarling stared straight ahead throughout her remarks.
“So Mr. Chairman, if you want to talk about civility, you start with the president of the United States and you implore him not to continue to promote violence, not to continue to promote divisiveness and then I think he would be a better example and people would follow a better example rather than get trapped into what he is advocating which is pure violence,” Waters said.
The remarks mark the latest in escalating rhetoric from both Waters and Trump. On Wednesday, Trump said that her “crazy rants” have made her “the unhinged FACE of the Democrat Party.”
The days of protests, meanwhile, follow the administration's controversial policies that resulted in the separation of families caught illegaly crossing the border. Trump has since reversed the practice.
Fox News' Raymond Bogan contributed to this report.