From his controversial politics to his recent comments questioning civil rights legend and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, President-elect Donald Trump has inspired more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers to boycott his inauguration, including Houston Congressman Al Green.
Rep. Lewis drew the ire of Trump late when he told NBC News he did not plan to attend the inauguration because he did not consider Trump to be a “legitimate” president, citing the election interference from Russia when pressed to explain why.
“I don’t plan to attend the inauguration,” Lewis said. “It will be the first one that I miss since I’ve been in Congress. You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.”
Trump responded the next day by attacking Lewis and saying he should spend more time focused on his own “failing” district.
The response from Trump inspired a wave of progressive backlash, with a new crop of Democrats announcing their intentions to boycott the inauguration over the comments about Lewis.
“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,” Congressman Green said in a statement. “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.”
While some of the lawmakers have actively chosen to make their opposition to Trump known, many say they never planned to attend, since the inauguration falls during a congressional recess and the city will otherwise be overwhelmed with visitors.