'Clean up your mess, Kevin': Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries responds to Maxine Waters censure effort by telling GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to 'sit this one out'

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hakeem jeffries
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries sharply criticized Republican efforts to censure Rep. Maxine Waters.

  • Waters is facing criticism for telling protesters to "get more confrontational."

  • "Clean up your mess, Kevin. Sit this one out," Jeffries said, referring to Rep. Kevin McCarthy. 

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the fourth-highest-ranking House Democrat, sharply criticized Republican efforts to censure Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters and said the GOP should deal with its "mess" before attacking Democrats. 

"Kevin McCarthy should focus on his own conference because the Republicans in the House are a mess right now," Jeffries told reporters. "Perhaps he should sit this one out."

Jeffries named specific Republican lawmakers who've been mired in controversy in recent months.

"Lauren Boebert is a mess. Matt Gaetz is a mess. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a mess," he said. "Clean up your mess, Kevin. Sit this one out." 

Watch: Jeffries calls Waters censure resolution ‘frivolous’

Waters is facing criticism for telling a group of supporters to "get more confrontational" if Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd's killing, is acquitted. She made her comments during a visit to Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, where Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by a police officer last week. 

"We've got to stay on the street, and we've got to get more active. We've got to get more confrontational," she said. "We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business."

The judge overseeing Chauvin's trial called Waters' remarks "abhorrent" and said they could warrant an appeal once the case was decided. The jury's verdict is expected to be made public on Tuesday afternoon. 

Republicans are planning to hold a vote to censure Waters on Tuesday afternoon. The party has refused to censure its members who've been accused of making comments that incited violence, including before and during the January 6 Capitol riot. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended Waters, saying the congresswoman's remarks were "absolutely not" meant to incite violence.

-The Recount (@therecount) April 20, 2021

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