U.S. Rep. John Lewis makes inspiring speech on MLK Day
A growing group of congressmen and women have announced they will not attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
In statements explaining their decisions, the members of Congress, who have all been Democrats thus far, cited Trump’s rhetoric on women, Muslims and immigrants, as well as concerns about the role Russian hacking may have played in the presidential election.
The boycott movement began with Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, who said he did not view Trump as a “legitimate president” because of allegations that Russia attempted to sway the election in Trump’s favor. After Trump responded with several highly critical tweets about Lewis, Democrats rallied behind Lewis.
Lewis’ boycott this Friday will not be the first time he has skipped a presidential swearing-in — in 2001, the Washington Post reported that Lewis spent the day in Atlanta, “because he doesn’t believe Bush is the true elected president.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 58 Democrats had announced they will not attend. There are 535 members of Congress, 435 of which are in the House of Representatives. There are 194 Democrats in the House.
None of the Democrats who are boycotting is part of the House leadership for the party.
Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva
“My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy, but as an individual act, yes, of defiance at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration, and the actions we are taking in this Congress,” Grijalva said on the House floor Friday, per CNN.
Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego
California Rep. Judy Chu
Chu used the hashtag #StandWithJohnLewis in her announcement she would not attend Saturday.
California Rep. Barbara Lee
California Rep. Ted Lieu
“Trump has made statements denigrating the patriotic and professional men and women of our intelligence services, many of whom risk their lives in service to our nation. He also continues to believe Vladimir Putin over our intelligence services and is actively misleading the American people when he denies Putin ordered a brazen, multifaceted cyberattack on America to benefit Trump,” Lieu wrote in a statement.
“On January 20, Trump will be in violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution because of the massive conflicts of interests he has with his global business holdings.”
California Rep. Zoe Lofgren
The member of Congress told the Los Angeles Times that she was “not in the mood to celebrate” that Trump was the incoming president.
California Rep. Jerry McNerney
McNerney also told the Los Angeles Times he would not attend.
California Rep. Grace Napolitano
Napolitano is not attending, according to the Los Angeles Times.
California Rep. Mark Takano
California Rep. Jared Huffman
California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier
California Rep. Karen Bass
Bass’ spokesman confirmed to the Washington Post that she would not attend the inauguration, after the congresswoman polled if she should attend on Twitter.
California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
Roybal-Allard wrote that she “thought long and hard” about attending before deciding Trump’s “disparaging remarks” made her attendance impossible.
California Rep. Raul Ruiz
Ruiz told the Desert Sun that “A real president doesn’t attack the press because they ask tough questions... A real president doesn’t insult and bully celebrities or everyday Americans because they disagree with him.”
California Rep. Maxine Waters
Waters confirmed Sunday that she would not attend the inauguration. She told Politico, “it’s just not interesting,” when asked why she wouldn’t be attending.
California Rep. Tony Cardenas
Cardenas wrote on his Facebook page that he would not attend the inauguration, but will attend the Women’s March on Saturday. “He has disrespected countless Americans — women, civil rights leaders, Hispanics, people with disabilities, Muslims, gold star families, African Americans, POWs, and more,” he wrote.
California Rep. Juan Vargas
Vargas posted on Twitter that he would not attend, but instead he would “be praying for our country and for our community with the people of my district.”
Florida Rep. Darren Soto
Soto told Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV Channel 9 that he was “deeply disappointed with Trump’s attacks against civil rights hero John Lewis and will not be attending the inauguration as a result.”
Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson
Wilson told a reporter that she would be attending a wedding instead of Trump’s inauguration.
Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings
In a statement on his website, Hastings said he will be in his district on Friday, saying “I choose to stand with Rep. John Lewis.”
Georgia Rep. John Lewis
“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis told Meet the Press. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don’t plan to attend the inauguration.”
Illinois Rep. Luis Gutiérrez
Gutierrez spoke from the House floor Wednesday, saying he “justify morally or intellectually the immense power we are placing in that man’s hands.”
Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth
In a statement, Yarmuth wrote that “we must send the message that this behavior is not acceptable from the leader of our nation. Not attending the Inauguration is one way for me to do that.”
Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree
At a Martin Luther King Jr. dinner on Monday, Pingree said she will remain in Maine for the inauguration, per the Portland Press Herald. Maine’s Republican governor, Paul LePage, said Pingree should resign if she won’t attend, per WGME.
Maryland Rep. Anthony Brown
Brown cited Lewis’ decision to boycott in announcing he was skipping the ceremony.
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin
Raskin changed his mind about attending the ceremony and told the Washington Post that “ the moral and political legitimacy of this presidency are in the gravest doubt.”
Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark
Michigan Rep. John Conyers
A spokesperson for Coyners confirmed the decision with Politico.
Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay
Clay told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he will be “back home in St. Louis speaking to school kids” on Jan. 20.
Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison
Ellison, who is running for DNC chair, wrote he would “not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate.”
New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter
New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman
The representative wrote that instead of attending Trump’s inauguration she would be at an interfaith prayer vigil in Trenton.
New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne
Payne announced Tuesday on his Facebook page that he would not attend. “Donald Trump will be our president, and I will work with him if my values permit, and if doing so is in the best interests of my constituents and the nation,” he wrote. “But I will not celebrate his swearing-in to an office that he has proven unfit to hold.”
New York Rep. Yvette Clarke
New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat
New York Rep. José Serrano
New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez
New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler
The New York congressman said on his Facebook page, “I will not be participating in the inauguration ceremony of President Elect Donald J. Trump. We cannot normalize actions that threaten the institutions and values of our democracy.” Nadler represents New York’s 10th District.
New York Rep. Grace Meng
In a statement on her website, Meng said she “will work with Mr. Trump whenever possible, but this weekend I march.”
New York Rep. Louise Slaughter
Slaughter used the hashtag #StandwithJohnLewis to announce on Twitter that she will not be in attendance Friday.
North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams
Adams wrote that Trump had “sparked very real fears and concerns” and that she could not “pretend to celebrate the inauguration of someone who has spoken so horribly about women, minorities and the disabled.”
North Carolina Rep. G.K. Butterfield
Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge
Fudge said on Twitter Sunday she would remain at home in Cleveland during inauguration.
Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader
Schrader told Oregon Public Broadcasting he will not “freeze my a--” at the inauguration, though, “I’ll do my best to work with (Trump) when I think he’s doing the right thing for the country.”
Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio
DeFazio told Oregon Public Broadcasting that his decision not to attend was not a political statement about Trump. Rather, he said he typically avoids “pomp and circumstance events in Washington.”
Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle
Boyle wrote, “I accept the decision of the people. I respect it. But I will not celebrate it.”
Pennsylvania Rep. Dwight Evans
Evans wrote that “Russian hacking must be investigated and I do not support the repeal of ACA.”
Pennsylvania Rep. Bob Brady
“Donald Trump spent eight years telling Barack Obama he was an illegitimate president. You can’t have it both ways,” Brady told Philly.com. “We’re Philadelphia, loyal to a fault, and Mr. Lewis is a dear friend.”
Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen
Cohen said he would not attend “out of respect for [Lewis] and for unpresidential remarks.”
Texas Rep. Al Green
The Houston congressman became the first Texas Democrat to announce he would not attend Trump’s inauguration in a statement Monday.
Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett
In a statment issued on Twitter, Doggett said the country is in a for a “long struggle” where he would use “every nonviolent opposition tool available.”
Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro
Castro joined Green Tuesday in announcing he would not attend the inauguration.
Virginia Rep. Don Beyer
Beyer said on Monday in a tweet that he would not “be part of normalizing or legitimizing a man whose election may well have depended on the malicious foreign interference of Russia’s leaders, a person who lies profusely and without apology, who mimics the disabilities of others, who insults anyone who dares disagree with him, who would demonize an entire spiritual tradition, and who has demonstrated again and again a profound disrespect for women.”
Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Jayapal said she would remain in her district Friday.
Washington Rep. Adam Smith
Smith’s spokesperson said he would be in a Washington state meeting with his constituents on Friday, Seattle NBC affiliate KING 5 News reported.
Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan
Pocan wrote that after reading the classified document on Russian hacking and Trump’s tweets attacking Lewis, “I will not be attending the Inauguration.”
Possibly Not Attending
South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn
The highest ranking House Democrat to indicate he might not attend, Clyburn told Politico he will not attend if the weather is poor. Clyburn, who is the House Democratic Assistant Leader, is 76 years old.