Rep. Maxine Waters threatens to sue Fox News after ‘false claims,’ citing death threats

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Congresswoman Maxine Waters is weighing a lawsuit against Fox News after the conservative news outlet reported that she requested and utilized federal law enforcement for security during her travels to and from Minnesota where she attended a Black Lives Matter demonstration last month.

Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

In a report published on Friday, Fox News claimed Rep. Waters (D-Calif.) used government resources to be accompanied by two armed Capitol Police officers and two U.S. Secret Service agents and that she requested two air marshals and two more marshals to escort her in the airport.

Fox cited an alleged complaint filed with the U.S. House Committee on Ethics and Air Marshal National Council President, however, U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Secret Service denied the claims to the outlet.

Read More: Maxine Waters slams ‘blatant distortion’ of critics framing her as violent

On Saturday, Congresswoman Waters rebuked Fox News’ reporting and echoed the denials issued by the federal law enforcement agencies. What’s more, the chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services threatened to sue the conservative news organization and said its “false claim,” among other previous reporting, has led to continued death threats made against her.

“Fox News is an organization that charades as a news outlet while manufacturing lies, claiming them as truths, and using their platform that reaches millions of Americans as a vessel to spread misinformation. It is no surprise that the targets of Fox’s misinformation campaigns include women of color like me, other people of color, and anyone who dares to speak the truth,” Waters said in the lengthy statement provided to theGrio.

Fox News theGrio.com
Protesters rally against Fox News outside the Fox News headquarters at the News Corporation building. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“In a recent article by Fox News, reporters William La Jeunesse and Lee Ross cited sources that falsely claimed I was accompanied by two armed Capitol Police and two U.S. Secret Service agents on an April 17 flight, that I requested a total of four U.S. Air Marshals, and used government resources for my travels. Variations of this article and false claim were then published by the New York Post and the Daily Mail.

The statement added, “Each and every one of these claims is an absolute lie. Let it be made clear that I have never requested or utilized any Capitol Police, Secret Service, or U.S. Air Marshal presence on that flight or any of my flights.”

Waters said after her trip to Minnesota during the Derek Chauvin murder trial, which was feverishly covered by news outlets after she was accused of encouraging violence (which she vehemently denied in an exclusive interview with theGrio), she discovered that documents regarding a security threat assessment that included her flight number and additional travel information were leaked to the conservative media outlet TownHall.

Despite claims that these documents indicated her request for police protection, Waters said it’s an “absolute lie.”

Read More: ‘What’s In It For Us’ podcast unpacks exclusive Maxine Waters interview with Gerren Keith Gaynor

“This leak of my travel information and operational and threat assessment information is deeply disturbing and puts my life at risk,” the congresswoman said.

Capitol Police are investigating the source of the security assessment leak.

Rep. Maxine Waters thegrio.com
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, speaks during a House Select Subcommittee hearing on April 15, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)

“Because of the way that right wing media outlets have rushed to spread lies about me, it should be no surprise that as an outspoken Black woman with an important role in Congress as Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, death threats against me have continued,” Waters added.

The 82-year-old U.S. representative detailed a death threat she received on her voicemail, in which the caller who claimed to be from Louisiana referred to her as the n-word and said she deserved to be “hung by a rope for treason.”

“I pray for your death every day just like you prayed for the fucking conviction of an officer who is not guilty,” the caller said. “So, go fuck yourself and go shove your face into some dough, in the kitchen, and make some gorilla cookies, bitch… Fuck you Maxine Waters…’”

Just weeks before a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building, Waters received a threatening voicemail from a man in Kansas who said, “Your time is coming n*gger bitch…I got an AK47 and I’ll use it if I have to.” 

Read More: Echoing Maxine Waters, Jim Clyburn says Americans must ‘confront injustice’

Waters, who was an early critic of former President Donald Trump and called for his impeachment days into his presidency, has become a frequent target of Republicans and right-wing media outlets. The congresswoman has cited several death threats over the years.

Now Rep. Waters said she is considering a lawsuit against Fox News.

Rep. Maxine Waters (above) questions Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar at a hearing before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis last month in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Micahel A. McCoy – Pool/Getty Images)

“Once again, this is a made-up story by Fox News, which is not only irresponsible, but now openly creating danger for me. My office is now getting even more calls from haters who are threatening my life due to this type of reporting. As a result of Fox’s willingness to lie and deceive its audience, I am now considering a lawsuit against Fox News and demand an immediate retraction of the article,” she said.

“… my life is constantly threatened by racists, haters, and ill-informed people under the influence of the likes of Fox News. If in fact I lose my life because of these scurrilous attacks in the fight against injustice and racism, my life will not have been lost in vain.”

Fox News did not immediately respond to theGrio‘s request for comment.

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