During an appearance on MSNBC, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) did not hold back in her criticisms of President-elect Donald Trump, his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his odious behavior toward marginalized people. She passionately argued for further investigation of Trump's possible collusion with Russia, and made abundantly clear precisely why she will not be attending the inauguration of the man she calls "a danger."
During a fiery interview with MSNBC's Tamron Hall, Rep. Maxine Waters did not hold back about her profound reservations about Donald Trump. She passionately urged for further investigation into Trump's sinister affinity for Vladimir Putin, his advisors' ties to Russia, and whether there was collusion with Russia to interfere in the election to affect its outcome in Trump's favor.
WATERS: Putin comes out this morning, and he defends Trump, and he says that they are simply trying to deem that his election is illegitimate. These two just wrap their arms around each other; they defend each other. Even Trump is saying that, when he is elected, when he's sworn in as president, that he is going to lift the sanctions on Russia that was placed on Russia by President Obama. And so I think it's time for us to stop picking around the edges about Donald Trump and Putin. They're in the bed together.
And for whatever reasons, they've decided that he's going to deal with Putin; that he's going to believe Putin; he's going to put aside the fact that Putin is responsible for killing innocent children and civilians in Syria, and that he blanket-bombed those children, and he doesn't care what Putin is doing. Somehow we're going to have better relations with them. And so I trust what the intelligence agencies are saying.
First of all, they said they have confidence that what they have discovered about him and the hacking is real, it is true, they did it and he finally begrudgingly had to agree. So when you talk about, whether it is Comey or whether it is Brennan or whomever, these people now have been involved in this long enough. These intelligence agencies have drilled down, and I think they have to drill down even further, and I trust they have come up with describing the role that the Russians have played, that Trump has played in this interference in our elections, and they still are going to have to deal with more.
I want to know, for example: Manafort, who was the campaign manager for Trump, who also worked for the President of the Ukraine, I want to know what role he's played in this. The press and everybody else has to drill down on this. He left the campaign because it was discovered that he had a contract, that he'd been involved with the Ukraine.
HALL: A ledger was discovered with an alleged payment to him.
WATERS: Well, I think we have to drill down more and we have find out exactly what he or, I think it is Flynn, what his role has been. Flynn has been connected to this false and scandalous news that they put out about people, that they put out about Hillary Clinton.
They've discovered that he's made telephone calls to the Russian ambassador and I think about five times on the very day —
HALL: On the day that the sanctions were announced.
WATERS: That's right. That's right. So it's a lot here. It's a lot to be investigated. We need to go further; we need to drill down deeper, because something is going on here.
Hall then asked Waters about her reasons for boycotting Trump's inaugural, and Waters was blunt in her reply — a candor that many Americans will undoubtedly find validating.
HALL: So, was your decision to skip the inauguration based on Donald Trump's attack of Congressman Lewis or the result of the briefing?
WATERS: Well, let me just tell you, after I discovered who Trump is and the way that he conducted himself, I was never going to go to the inauguration. I never planned, I never contemplated even going near any of those activities or those events. I don't like the way he has, you know, misled people, the way he has lied; I don't like the way he has disparaged folks; I don't like the way he mimicked and mocked a disabled man; I don't like the way he talked about women and grabbing their private parts. So there's nothing about him that I would want to be involved with.
And certainly the inauguration is a way of welcoming in someone to the presidency and honoring them and respecting them. I don't honor him, I don't respect him, and I don't want to be involved with him.
HALL: Going back to Russia's interference in our election and some of the things that you said at the beginning of this interview, your concerns about Russia and its influence and Vladimir Putin. We reported it is very — you're hard-pressed to find Donald Trump saying harsh words about Vladimir Putin as he has said about a laundry list of agencies and individuals, whether they are lawmakers or the family members, the Gold Star family members. In his past you can find criticism of Russia, including support for sanctions, not while he was running for president.
With that said, if what you are saying and what you believe that you've heard from your briefings and information you're privy to, is he a danger, given these allegations of his connections to Russia? Setting aside party, is he a danger?
WATERS: I believe that Trump is a danger. I believe that he wants to tighten and build up his relationship to Russia, for whatever reasons. What we have discovered, despite the fact that he said, "Look, I have no business with Russia," he tried to make us believe that he had no business and he was not interested in any business. Only to discover over 37 efforts have been put forth where he tried to do business with Russia, and it hasn't worked out for whatever reasons.
The other thing is, even though it is not verified, we are told that there is a dossier that was put out by a well-known spy out of London who have revealed some things about what the Russians are holding over the head of Trump. And I think that our intelligence agencies need to drill down on that, they need to look into it, they need to see if there's any truth to it because, if it is, it very dangerous for Russia to be able to blackmail Trump at any given time, if in fact they have the kind of information that's being alluded to.
This is what unyielding resistance to the normalization of Donald Trump looks like.