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Maxine Waters on James Comey’s Character, Impeaching Donald Trump and Why She Loves ‘Black Panther’

On Tuesday night, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was one of the political stars attending the Time 100, the magazine’s annual gala that honors the most influential people in the world. As she waited outside the dinner at Lincoln Center, Waters spoke to Variety for a few minutes about Donald Trump, James Comey, and why she’s seen “Black Panther” twice.

It’s only Tuesday, and already a lot has already happened this week. Is it hard to keep up?
Yeah, it’s hard to keep up, and people are getting worn down a bit. But I’m saying, “This is about your democracy. Pay attention! What’s happening now may be the most important thing in your life.” And so, I encourage people to watch the news, to read the newspapers, to ask questions, create discussions in your neighborhoods, in your churches.

Do you think Trump will be impeached this year?
I am certainly working toward his impeachment. I think Mueller is doing a great job. I am hopeful that the Cohen tapes will be a treasure trove of information that will help move us toward that.

Do you think Mike Pence would do a better job as president?
No, I don’t think so. But we can easily get him out in 2020.

Have you read James Comey’s book?
I read some of it, but I think I know who he is now. I think I understand how he thinks now. I think he has been pretty straightforward in how he handled himself with the president. The only thing that disappoints people, I was disappointed in how he brought out a new investigation against Hillary [Clinton] 11 days before the election. But I think the way he has handled himself is basically who he is. A lot of people are saying, “Why didn’t he confront the president when the president was asking him to do what he knew the president should not be asking him to do?” But I don’t think that’s how he thinks.

There’s an irony in celebrating him when he may have cost the Democrats the election.
Well, I know. You know how disappointed we were and upset we have been about it. I think Hillary thinks that it had more to do with her losing the election than anything else. That is not to be forgotten. But I also think that his ability to tell the stories about his interaction with the president is very important.

Do you think we’ll elect a female president in our lifetime?
Oh, yes. I’m the oldest one here, so that’s going to be a short period of time.

Are you running?

What’s the best movie you saw recently?
Well, of course, I saw “Black Panther.” Twice! I liked that it talked about the importance and relevance of these people. And that they had, at least, the lead guy in the movie had the willingness to talk about, “What can we do to help others in this world?” And then I kind of liked the mix between the new technology and Africa and that young lady who was so smart. It was all so nice and wonderful.


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