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These Democratic Lawmakers Won't Attend Trump's Inauguration

Thirty-one Democratic lawmakers are skipping Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony, some after Trump called civil rights icon John Lewis 'all talk.'
Image: Civil rights activist and Rep. John Lewis,
Civil rights activist and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. is introduced before speaking at the unveiling of a U.S. Postal Service stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Aug. 23, 213, at the Newseum in Washington.Charles Dharapak / AP

Nearly 60 Democratic lawmakers now say they are skipping Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony on Friday after more representatives made their boycott plans known on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Some Democrats had said they were boycotting the event before the weekend, but more Democratic members of the House said they wouldn't attend after Trump in a series of tweets attacked Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who a day earlier said he doesn't see Trump as a "legitimate president" because of Russia's alleged interference in the election.

Trump dismissed Lewis, a Freedom Rider who was beaten during a 1965 march in Selma and was arrested and jailed repeatedly in opposition to segregation, as "all talk, talk, talk — no action or results."

The attack, coming just days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, seems to have energized a number of Lewis' fellow Democratic lawmakers, as they joined his boycott of the inauguration after Trump's tweet storm, some using the hashtag #StandWithJohnLewis.

Below are the Democratic lawmakers who do not plan on attending.


Rep. Raul Grijalva

Grijalva stood in the House Chamber and explained Friday that he would not remain in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration.

"My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office, or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy," Grijalva said. "But as an individual act — yes, of defiance — at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration, and by the actions we are taking here in this Congress."

Grijalva plans to spend the day at home, meeting with constituents he believes will be affected by President-elect Trump's administration.

Rep. Ruben Gallego


Rep. Karen Bass

A spokesperson for Bass told the Washington Post she would not attend the Inauguration after taking a poll on social media.

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

"I thought long and hard about attending the Inauguration because I value our democracy and respect the office of the presidency, regardless of party," Roybal-Allard said in a statement Sunday night. "However, the disparaging remarks the President-elect has made about many groups, including women, Mexicans, and Muslims, are deeply contrary to my values."

Rep. Jared Huffman

Rep. Barbara Lee

"Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party," said Lee, an 18-year veteran of Congress. "On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance."

In a statement, Lee cited concerns over Russian hacking and a "divisive and prejudiced campaign," alleging that the president-elect had normalized bigotry and appointed a white nationalist — former Breitbart Executive Chairman Steve Bannon — as his chief strategist. Bannon has denied being a white nationalist.

Rep. Ted Lieu

Lieu said in a statement that Trump would be in violation of the Constitution when he takes office next week because of his many alleged conflicts of interest. Lieu said he would oppose Trump when necessary and work with him when possible, but he believed the president-elect went too far when he attacked Lewis.

"For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple," Lieu said. "Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis."

Rep. Mark Takano

Rep. Judy Chu

Rep. Maxine Waters

Rep. Tony Cardenas

Cardenas told an audience at an MLK Day breakfast in Los Angeles that he would not attend the inauguration and would instead be "marching on Washington" the following day, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

"I will be fighting for your voting rights, your right to a doctor,” Cardenas told the audience, according to the report.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren

"I acknowledge the fact that he is the incoming president, but I’m not in the mood to celebrate that fact,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

Rep. Jerry McNerney

The Los Angeles Times reports he will not attend.

Rep. Grace Napolitano

The Los Angeles Times reports she will not attend.

Rep. Raul Ruiz

“A real president doesn't attack the press because they ask tough questions,” Ruiz told the Desert Sun. “A real president doesn't insult and bully celebrities or everyday Americans because they disagree with him. A real president doesn't use the office to make millions more for his own wealth or his family's wealth.”

Rep. Juan Vargas


Rep. Darren Soto

“I am deeply disappointed with Trump’s attacks against civil rights hero John Lewis and will not be attending the inauguration as a result,” Soto told Orlando's WFTV Channel 9.

Rep. Frederica Wilson

She was never planning to attend because of a wedding, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Rep. Alcee Hastings


Rep. John Lewis

Lewis sat down for an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd on Friday and said he didn't consider Trump's presidency to be legitimate because of Russian interference.

"That's not right. That's not fair. That's not the democratic process," Lewis said about the alleged Russian hacking, which U.S. intelligence officials believe was to help Trump get elected and to discredit Hillary Clinton.

Lewis said he could not attend the president-elect's inauguration in good conscience, a view that has gained support since Trump attacked Lewis' leadership and performance on Twitter in response.

"You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong," Lewis said.

This is the first time Lewis has not attended the inauguration since he entered Congress 30 years ago.


Rep. Luis Gutierrez

"I could not look at my wife, my daughters or my grandson in the eye if I sat there and attended as if everything that candidate Donald Trump had said about The women, about The Latinos, or The Blacks, The Muslims or any of the other things he said in his speeches and Tweets — that any of that is OK or erased from my memory," Gutierrez said in a Jan. 10 statement.


Rep. John Yarmuth

"For the last ten weeks, President-elect Trump has continually denigrated the office of the President by using his bully pulpit for insult and ridicule. Since he made his ignorant comments about Congressman John Lewis this weekend, I have heard dismay from hundreds of constituents. Thousands more have contacted me over the past months regarding his shameful remarks about women, the disabled, immigrants, and countless others — as well as his continued praise of a hostile foreign leader.

"This is not normal. It is an embarrassment to our country and to the office of the presidency, and 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."


Rep. Chellie Pingree


Rep. Anthony Brown


Rep. Katherine Clark


Rep. John Conyers, Jr.

Conyers, the dean of the House of Representatives, will not attend the inauguration, his office told CNN on Saturday.


Rep. Keith Ellison


Rep. Bennie Thompson

A spokesman told the Clarion-Ledger he would not attend the inauguration out concerns about Trump's comments about Lewis and his relationship with Russia.


Rep. William Lacy Clay

Steve Engelhard, a spokesman for Clay, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Clay won't attend the inauguration because he would "be back home in St. Louis speaking to school kids," instead.

New Hampshire

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter

New Jersey

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

New York

Rep. Jose Serrano

Rep. Nydia Velazquez

Rep. Yvette D. Clarke

Rep. Adriano Espaillat

"Many have given their lives and dedicated their lives to working to fulfill Dr. King's dream and make it a reality, and it is up to us to preserve his legacy and the legacy of President Barack Obama to ensure that we do not go back in time!," Espaillat wrote in a post on his Facebook page on Saturday.

"President-elect Donald Trump is trying to take us back! And the people Trump is appointing — Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions — are trying to take us back!

"That's why I am not attending the presidential inauguration. Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration.

"THIS is not Dr. King's Dream!"

Rep. Jerrold Nadler

North Carolina

Rep. Alma Adams

Rep. G.K. Butterfield


Rep. Marcia Fudge

Fudge told MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid on Sunday that she would not be attending the inauguration.


Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Blumenauer told Oregon Public Broadcasting that this would be the first inauguration he's missed since he entered Congress two decades ago. He will attend events protesting the president-elect, instead.

Rep. Peter DeFazio

The 15-term representative typically avoids the inauguration. He told Oregon Public Broadcasting that he doesn't like the "pomp and circumstance events in Washington."

Rep. Kurt Schrader

"I'll do my best to work with him when I think he's doing the right thing for the country," Schrader told OPB. "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."

Schrader plans to attend an Oregon event in opposition of Trump.


Rep. Dwight Evans

Rep. Brendan Boyle

Rep. Mike Doyle

Rep. Bob Brady

Congressman Brady told several local stations in Philadelphia that he would not be attending the inauguration in support of John Lewis.


Rep. Steve Cohen

Cohen told MSNBC's Kate Snow that he would not be attending the inauguration, citing the reason that "Trump has shown that he is not of the rectitude to be the president of the United States and a moral leader, somebody who doesn’t tell the truth, who has been misogynist and racist in his comments and who has made fun of a man with disabilities." He also said that he agrees with Rep. John Lewis that the election was illegitimate.

"I believe it was [illegitimate]," Cohen told MSNBC. "I think the facts will have to come out, and I want to say this: Jim Comey is probably investigating this. If he’s not investigating it, he’s being negligent."


Rep. Al Green

“Today, we celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; on Friday, President-elect Trump will be sworn-in. For some time, I have been hearing from many constituents with varying points of view on the question of whether I will attend the inauguration. My response is Dr. King was right when he indicated: On some issues ‘cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.’

“I will not attend the inauguration because conscience says it is the right thing to do.”

Rep. Lloyd Doggett

Rep. Joaquin Castro


Rep. Don Beyer


Rep. Adam Smith

"As the House of Representatives is not in session the week of Inauguration, Congressman Smith will spend the District Work Period at home in Washington state meeting with his constituents," Smith told NBC station KING of Seattle in a statement.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Jayapal also told KING that she also wouldn't be attending.

"My decision to be here in the district with my constituents who are truly terrified that they will no longer have a home in this city and country was not, at the time, a boycott of the inauguration," she said in a statement.

"If I had any doubts about my decision, however, my resolve has only strengthened in the past few days as I watched Donald Trump's response to one of our country's great civil rights icons and a personal hero of mine, Congressman John Lewis," she added. "With Donald Trump's tweet, he himself has inflamed the situation and now two dozen of my colleagues will also not be attending the inauguration. It has become a boycott."


Rep. Mark Pocan