Maxine Waters, Who Opposes Solitary Confinement, Wants to Throw Trump in Solitary Confinement


Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) / Getty Images
October 1, 2019

Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) expressed her desire to throw President Donald Trump in solitary confinement despite her previous opposition to the practice.

Waters suggested that Trump should be tried and executed for treason or at the very least placed in solitary confinement after Tump characterized the Ukraine phone call whistleblower as "close to a spy." Trump is now the subject of the fourth impeachment inquiry in history, but would be the first removed from office. The California congresswoman said he deserves a harsher punishment.

"Impeachment is not good enough for Trump," the often-outspoken congresswoman argued on Twitter. "He needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement. But for now, impeachment is the imperative."

Despite her enthusiasm for putting Trump in solitary confinement, Waters has backed several bills that would drastically curtail the practice, which opponents call a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Waters was an original co-sponsor of the 2018 Jobs and Justice Act, which aimed in part to "develop and implement national standards for the use of solitary confinement to ensure that it is used infrequently and only under extreme circumstances." She also co-sponsored Kalief's Law in 2015, which aimed to curtail the use of solitary confinement on those below the age of 21.

In a 2018 tweet, Waters also asked former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to support the Solitary Confinement Reform Act following Manafort's own sentencing to isolation.

Despite calling for Trump's imprisonment, Waters was also a critic of the "Lock Her Up" war cry that Trump and his supporters directed at Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. In a 2017 MSNBC interview, Waters claimed the chant was "developed strategically with people from the Kremlin, with Putin."

House Democrats are now investigating whether Trump committed a crime when he asked Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to "look into" the Biden family's dealings in the country. Hunter Biden received a $50,000 monthly salary for serving on the board of Ukraine's largest gas company while his father served as vice president in the Obama administration.

When asked in a MSNBC interview hours later whether she was speaking literally about condemning Trump to solitary confinement, Waters responded, "No, not really."

"I did express myself in ways to show how terrible I think he is and how he really should be punished," Waters said. "But of course, impeachment is what we're focused on right now."

UPDATE 8:50 pm: Post was updated to include Waters's saying she wasn't speaking literally.