Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, will not be joining a growing list of his Democratic colleagues who plan to boycott Republican Donald Trump's inauguration.
“I will attend the 2017 inauguration out of respect for the peaceful transfer of power,” Cleaver said in a statement on Tuesday.
At least 40 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have announced they will not attend the inaugural festivities on Friday. The number grew over the weekend after Trump lashed out on Twitter at Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon and Democrat who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Trump criticized Lewis as “all talk, no action” after Lewis said he would not attend Trump’s swearing-in because he believed Trump was not a “legitimate president.”
Cleaver, a former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, said he was upset about Trump’s tweets, too. But as a proponent of bipartisanship and civility on Capitol Hill, he will attend the inaugural.
“I was deeply offended by Mr. Trump’s innuendos of Rep. John Lewis, a man of unsurmountable courage and strength,” Cleaver said.
“Comments like these are the very reason why my calls for civility and compromise are so paramount,” he said. “There is work to do on Capitol Hill and we must begin to heal this country, not rip it apart.”