WASHINGTON – New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said he doesn’t regret calling President Trump the “grand wizard” of the White House and called on the commander-in-chief to own up to his decades of “colorful” behavior.
“It’s colorful language,” Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And I think that the president is going to have to own his pattern of behavior that has taken place not year after year, but decade after decade.”
Jeffries, who was recently elected to House leadership as Democratic Caucus Chairman, used a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event to refer to Trump by the title of the Ku Klux Klan leader.
“We have a hater in the White House. Birther-in-chief,” Jeffries told the National Action Network in New York.
“The Grand Wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” Jeffries continued. “One of the things that we’ve learned, is that while Jim Crow may be dead he’s still got some nieces and nephews that are alive and well.”
On Sunday, Jeffries stood by the remarks and said America has a long way to go on race relations.
“I don’t regret the use of the language, but I do think we need to move forward,” Jeffries said.
After a record-breaking government shutdown, Jeffries said Democrats are prepared to move forward on a border security deal as long as it’s not a “medieval border wall” but “21st century border security” that includes strengthening ports of entry, adding more personnel and enhancing technology.
Despite the mounting criminal charges against Trump associates – including ally Roger Stone getting slapped with an indictment on Friday – Jeffries, who has referred to the president as Individual 1, said impeachment “is not appropriate right now.”
But Democrats will move forward with their constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight on the Trump administration.
“We don’t work for Donald Trump,” Jeffries said. “ We work for the American people.”
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