'I don't think' she meant it: Joy Behar defends Maxine Waters' controversial comments

"The View" co-host gives Waters the benefit of the doubt

On Monday, "The View" co-host Joy Behar defended Rep. Maxine Waters,’ D-Calif. controversial advice to demonstrators in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota over the weekend to "stay on the street" and get confrontational with police officers if the Derek Chauvin trial doesn’t conclude with a guilty verdict. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is charged with murder and manslaughter over the death of George Floyd. The police-involved killing last summer sparked riots across the country.

Republican lawmakers were outraged that Waters appeared to be inciting violence, but Behar gave Waters the benefit of the doubt.

"I don’t think that Maxine meant anything by that except to say, ‘You have to stick with it, you have to be there.’" Behar said. "But Democrats have to be twice as smart and twice as thoughtful as Republicans. Because Republicans will say whatever they want and they get away with it. Whereas Democrats, one little thing like this and they jump all over her."

Behar also suggested that Waters faced so much backlash because she "doesn’t have a cult following."

"No, she’s fine, as far as I’m concerned," Behar told fellow co-host Whoopi Goldberg of Waters’s behavior.

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Waters defended her controversial speech in an MSNBC appearance on Sunday, explaining that she was there to support young people who are "watching their peers get killed" and who are trying to reform the U.S. justice system.

"I wanted to be there kind of as Auntie Maxine, to show them that not only do I love them and I support them, but they can count on me to be with them at this terrible time in all of our lives," she said.

Closing arguments were presented in the Chauvin trial on Monday. With that, the city and the nation at large are holding their breath.

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This isn’t the first time Waters has seemingly encouraged crowds to engage in harassment. In 2018, she instructed her supporters to get in the faces of Trump administration officials.

"Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up," Waters said. "If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere."

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy warned Waters that he will "bring action" in Congress this week to punish her for her consistently violent rhetoric.

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