18 Democratic lawmakers to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration
At least 18 Democratic lawmakers have said they will boycott US President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration this week, after disclosure of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and his rebuke of civil rights icon John Lewis, according to a media report on Sunday.
Democratic Representative Lewis blasted Trump in an interview to a news channel, saying he would boycott the ceremony for the first time since he arrived in Congress in 1987 because he doesn’t see Trump as a “legitimate” president in light of Russian interference, CNN reported.
Lewis was one of three black lawmakers to testify against Trump’s attorney general nominee Senator Jeff Sessions last week. Trump had called Lewis “all talk” and “no action” and told him to focus more on “fixing and helping” his district rather than “complaining” about the Russia’s role.
“I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America,” tweeted New York Representative Yvette Clarke, making public his decision to boycott Trump’s swearing-in ceremony on 20 January.
Some members of Congress have said they will be protesting in DC and in their districts instead of attending the event. “’All talk, no action.’ I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration,” California Representative Mark Takano tweeted.
“For me, the personal decision not to attend inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis,” California Representative Ted Lieu said in a statement released by his office.
Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva said he will not be attending the inauguration of Trump as the next president. The office of Michigan Representative John Conyers, the dean of the United House of Representatives, confirmed to CNN he won’t be attending the inauguration.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep personal conviction that I have decided not to attend the #TrumpInauguration on 20 January 2017,” California Representative Mark DeSaulnier tweeted. “I will not be attending inauguration of @realDonaldTrump but WILL participate in the @womensmarch on 21 January,” New York Representative Nydia Velazquez tweeted.
Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader said, “I’ll do my best to work with him (Trump) when I think he’s doing the right thing for the country. But he hasn’t proved himself to me at all yet, so I respectfully decline to freeze my ass out there in the cold for this particular ceremony.”
Missouri Representative William Lacy Clay’s spokesperson said that Clay will be in his home state speaking to schoolchildren. California Representative Barbara Lee said she wouldn’t endorse a president defined by “racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry.”
New York Representative Jose Serrano, California Representative Judy Chu, Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez, California Representative Jared Huffman, Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark, Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer, New York Representative Adriano Espaillat are among others who have decided not to attend the inauguration.