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Story highlights

Waters questioned Trump's actions

"I have not called for the impeachment yet. He's doing it himself," Waters said

(CNN) —  

Rep. Maxine Waters said Monday that President Donald Trump’s actions are “leading himself” to possible impeachment.

The California Democrat tweeted last week that her “greatest desire was to lead @realDonaldTrump right into impeachment” after an interview with Cheddar, a video news network.

“I have not called for the impeachment yet. He’s doing it himself,” Waters said when asked about the statement at a news conference. “Let me just say that the statement I made is a statement in response to questions and pleas that I’m getting from many citizens across this country. What are we going to do? How can a President who is acting in the manner that he’s acting?”

Waters said that she’s concerned with Trump’s travel ban executive order, “the way he’s talking about Muslims” and his friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She also incorrectly said that Trump “is wrapping his arms around Putin, while Putin is continuing to advance into Korea” – apparently meaning to reference the Crimea.

“I think that he’s leading himself in that kind of position, where folks are going to ask, ‘What are we going to do?’ and the answer is going to be, ‘Eventually, we’ve got to do something about him,’” she said. “We cannot continue to have a President who’s acting in this manner. It’s dangerous to the United States of America.”

She later told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that Trump is creating “chaos and division.”

“This man is questionable,” she said on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “And because we have suspicions – many of us – about who is, where he came from, what his actions are, and all of his conflicts … we have to find out more about him and some of that leads to the possibility of impeachment.”

A White House official called Waters comments an example of “extreme rhetoric from a completely out-of-touch party.”

The official, who spoke on background because they were not allowed to respond on the record, said Waters had “lost control and perspective” and also noted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi response.

Pelosi, also at the news conference Monday, said impeachment will only be an issue for Trump “when and if” he breaks the law

“I’m not here to talk about impeachment today,” she said. “Any of the things that the congresswoman said are grounds for displeasure and unease in the public about the performance of this President, who has acted in a way that is strategically incoherent, that is incompetent and that is reckless. And that is not grounds for impeachment.”

Pelosi added, “When and if he breaks the law, that is when something like that would come up, but that is not the subject of today.”

CNN’s Dan Merica, Manu Raju and David Siegel contributed to this report.

This story has been updated.