Hours after being sworn in as the first-ever Palestinian-American to serve in Congress, Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib used an expletive to describe US President Donald Trump and vowed to push for his impeachment.
Speaking at an event organized by progressive group MoveOn, Tlaib recounted a conversation she had with her son.
“‘Momma look you won. Bullies don’t win,'” she said he told her.
“And I said, ‘Baby they don’t, because we’re going to go in there and impeach the motherfucker,” Tlaib continued to applause.
There was no immediate response from Trump, who is known for taking to Twitter to hit out at critics.
Placing her hand on a Quran that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, Tlaib was sworn in earlier Thursday.
Together with Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, Tlaib, an outspoken activist-cum-politician from Michigan, was one of the two first Muslim women to enter Congress Thursday, among dozens of freshman lawmakers who are helping make the 116th Congress the most diverse one in the nation’s history.
Tlaib, whose parents are from the West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa, where much of her family still lives, is one of the first-ever lawmakers to support the anti-Israel boycott movement. She also says she supports a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has called for cutting US aid to Israel.
A reporter in Tlaib’s office on Thursday noted the world map hanging on her wall with a minor change. On top of Israel was a post-it note that said “Palestine.” It’s not clear who put the note up, whether it was a guest or an official from Tlaib’s office.
Someone has already made a slight alteration to the map that hangs in Rashida Tlaib’s new congressional office. pic.twitter.com/mwyshIog4r
— Hannah Allam (@HannahAllam) January 3, 2019
Accompanying Tlaib during the swearing-in ceremony was activist and fellow BDS backer Linda Sarsour.
“It’s a national holiday,” Sarsour, also a Palestinian-American, said in a congratulatory Facebook video for Tlaib. “You’re witnessing history today.”
Sarsour is best known as one of the leaders of the Women’s March, which has recently been roiled with accusations of anti-Semitism, with one activist recently telling The New York Times she was pushed out of the movement and that her Jewish identity was a cause for her ejection.
During her swearing in, Tlaib wore a Palestinian gown called a thobe.
Tlaib had written in Elle magazine that she would wear the thobe for her mother, who had to stop school in the eighth grade and become a tailor.
In recent months, Tlaib has unsettled Washington’s hawkish pro-Israel community. In December, she said she will lead a trip of incoming US lawmakers to the West Bank.
The visit is designed as a counter to the traditional Israel trip for first-term legislators orchestrated by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, which includes touring the country and meetings with leading Israeli figures in business, government and the military.
On Thursday, Tlaib’s ascendance was met with enthusiasm by pro-Palestinian activists who have long complained that they are an ignored constituency in Washington. Many of Tlaib’s backers came to Capitol Hill also wearing a thobe in solidarity with the Michigan Democrat.
Earlier in the morning, Tlaib’s brother called in to C-Span’s Washington Journal television new program to congratulate his sister. “I’m proud of you,” he said. “I can’t wait to see you getting sworn in on Jefferson’s Quran and wearing the Palestinian flag.”
Eric Cortellessa and AP contributed to this report.