The number of lawmakers planning to skip the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump grew Saturday after he criticized civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis.
As many as a dozen House members had already said they wouldn’t attend the swearing-in Friday, but others joined them in a show of support for Lewis.
After Lewis said in a Meet the Press interview that he believes Trump’s election is illegitimate and he won’t go to the inauguration, Trump tweeted Saturday morning that the Georgia Democrat should take better care of his “horrible” and “crime-infested” district and was “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
Hours later, lawmakers began saying they would bow out of the inaugural ceremony because of the insults.
“I will NOT attend the inauguration,” Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., tweeted. “When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.”
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said the decision for him was a personal one and “quite simple.”
“Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis,” he said in a statement Saturday.
Lieu, whose office had previously told the online news site Mic he would be doing reserve duty the day of the inauguration, said he doesn’t dispute that Trump won the election, but he doesn’t want to “normalize” Trump’s behavior or the “disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”
“Trump — who lost the popular vote — has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements,” he said. “In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”
It’s unclear how many others will join Lieu and Clarke. Many lawmakers slammed Trump for his criticism of Lewis but stopped short of saying they would skip his inauguration because of it.
The lawmakers who had said before the Lewis fracas that they wouldn’t attend include California Democratic Reps. Jared Huffman and Barbara Lee, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass. Mic is keeping a handy running list.
SOURCE: Donovan Slack