Democratic Representative Maxine Waters of California said Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, should "shut up" after he boasted about being "proud" of people who made "legitimate arguments about election integrity" on January 6, the day a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 general election had been stolen.
Gaetz went on to say he and others who have backed former President Trump's "Big Lie" are "ashamed of nothing," ignoring the numerous audits and affirmations from independent organizations and state and federal agencies that the election was both free and fair.
Speaking to MSNBC later, Waters described Gaetz's remarks as "absolutely outrageous" and hinted Gaetz "better be concerned" about the ongoing federal investigation into allegations that he violated sex trafficking laws.
You can hear what she said in the video below.
"The world watched what happened, and for them [Republicans] to try and rewrite history and to tell people 'don't believe your lying eyes' is absolutely outrageous."
"He [Gaetz] better be concerned about what's happening to him. He better be concerned about the fact that, you know, he's being investigated and there are concerns about him and young girls on and on and on."
Waters referred to the fact that federal authorities are investigating Gaetz on child sex trafficking charges after it emerged that the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a probe into whether he paid a 17-year-old girl and took her across state lines for sexual purposes.
Gaetz has denied allegations he violated sex trafficking laws and engaged in other sexual misconduct while in office by citing the age of consent.
Waters went on to say that she wants the Democratic Party "to rise to this occasion" and to forget the possibility that they might be able to "work something out" with Republicans who have continued to downplay the reality of the attack:
"But absolutely to get in our faces and to talk about how they [insurrectionists] had no intent of hurting anybody when we've got five of our Capitol Police who are dead, 150 of them who've been harmed, we absolutely are going to have to resist, we're going to have to fight, and we can't let them get away with it."
"They have defined themselves as liars, people with no integrity, and they are intent on protecting Trump, and they're all afraid of him. They are not representing even their constituents, and so Gaetz needs to shut up."
Many agreed with Waters' assessment and have called for Gaetz to be arrested.
Gaetz has shown no sign that he will walk back his remarks anytime soon.
Appearing with Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene on a podcast hosted by Steve Bannon, former President Trump's chief strategist, Gaetz attempted to redirect the blame for the attack by repeating false claims that the government and the police had orchestrated it.
Pledging to get to "the truth" of "the federal government's involvement" with the attack, Gaetz continues to share unfounded conspiracy theories even while he remains in the crosshairs of the House Select Committee's ongoing investigation into the attack and the extent of Republican lawmakers' involvement.