By: Greg BlueStein, Atlanta Journal Constitution
Cong. John Lewis
A growing number of House Democrats, 50 as of this writing, say they won’t attend Donald Trump’s inauguration after he criticized Georgia Rep. John Lewis as “all talk” and insulted his Atlanta-based district.
Trump called the district a “crime infested” area that is “falling apart,” a day after the Democrat told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he will skip Trump’s inauguration next week because he doesn’t see him as a “legitimate president.”
Other Democrats are citing that early-morning Twitter barrage for their decision to avoid this week’s inauguration festivities. California Rep. Mark Takano, California Rep. Ted Lieu and New York Rep. Yvette Clarke all said on Twitter Saturday they will not attend the swearing-in ceremony to stand in solidarity with Lewis. “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?” Lieu said in a statement. “I am standing with John Lewis.”
In an interview with Meet the Press on Friday, Lewis said he felt that Donald Trump was not a legitimate President because of the involvement of Russia in the elections. Lewis who was very active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s said he would not attend Trumps’ Inauguration. Trump responded on twitter criticizing Lewis as a person who just talks and should do more to improve his district.
Clarke tweeted: “When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.”
Several other Democrats, including Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva and California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, had previously announced plans to boycott the event.
Some Republicans are urging them to reconsider. Among them is Nebraska U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, one of the most vocal Trump critics in the GOP, who wrote that the inauguration isn’t about Trump but “a celebration of peaceful transfer of power.”