LAS VEGAS (AP) – Nevada’s new Sen.-elect Jacky Rosen said Tuesday she would like to see President Donald Trump be less divisive and the president’s new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller.
Rosen, speaking to reporters Friday at the Nevada Democratic Party’s headquarters in Las Vegas, said Whitaker’s past comments critical of the investigation were the reason he should step aside. She also said she’d like to see Trump find a way to work with Democrats in the new Congress.
“The president of the United States is a position that is respected around the world, and he needs to respect it, and he needs to treat it with dignity and stop the politics of divisiveness and bring us together in ways that we can look forward,” she said.
The 61-year-old congresswoman defeated incumbent Republican Dean Heller in Tuesday’s election by capturing 50 percent of the vote to his 45 percent.
Rosen said that when Heller called to concede Tuesday night, he “was fantastic” and congratulated her on running a good race.
Rosen said she was excited and relieved when she realized she’d won, and plans to make stops in rural Nevada in 2019 as part of a tour.
She will become Nevada’s second-ever female U.S. senator, serving alongside the state’s first, fellow Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.
Rosen says protecting health coverage for pre-existing conditions is her chief priority. The former computer programmer said she sees an opportunity to work with Trump and Republicans in Washington on cybersecurity and infrastructure and find common ground.
In the wake of another mass shooting this week – at a California bar where some patrons were survivors of last year’s Las Vegas mass shooting – Rosen said Washington needs to do something about gun violence.
“I’m so sorry that every week we have to continually send out our thoughts and prayer to families whose lives are changed forever,” she said.
She said she hopes the new Democrat-controlled U.S. House will pass gun control legislation, but she was less optimistic about the GOP-held Senate.
Rosen similarly said she and Cortez Masto will work in the Senate to block efforts to revive a long-stalled nuclear waste dump at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, she believes House Democrats will stop it.
The Democrat said that if the Senate is asked to confirm a new U.S. Supreme Court justice in the next six years, she’d like to see a nominee that both parties can back who won’t jeopardize abortion rights.
When it comes to immigration, Rosen said she’d like Congress to find a permanent solution for young “Dreamer” migrants to stay in the country and no longer be used as a bargaining chip. She also said America needs to show compassion to migrants traveling in a caravan headed toward the U.S. border.
“They’re coming because they are fleeing something that is so awful for their families that they’re willing to carry their baby on their back a thousand miles,” she said. “That says something about why they’re coming. I think we need to have some empathy.”