The number of Democrats vowing to boycott the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump has now grown to 58. The swearing in ceremony will take place on Friday, Jan. 20.
The decision to boycott intensified over the weekend when civil rights icon and Rep John Lewis told NBC: “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”
Lewis, who serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight, House Committee on Ways and Means, cited a determination by U.S. intelligence that Russia hacked emails of Democrats to boost Trump’s chances of winning the presidency. Trump has repeatedly denied the validity of claims made by various intelligence officials and refuses to accept daily intelligence briefings.
Others cited Trump’s rhetoric of hate and division, sexism, racism, bad temperament, bad judgment and lack of experience as reasons for keeping them away.
“We all dissociate ourselves with the brand, the Donald Trump brand of division and insult, coupled with his lack of knowledge of the magnitude of the office that he’s about to enter," said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, (D-NC) and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
California Congress members who are boycotting include Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Raul Ruiz, and Rep. Maxine Waters.
"Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party," Lee said in a statement. "On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance."
“For me, the personal decision not to attend the Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis," Lieu said.
Lofgren told the Los Angeles Times, “I acknowledge the fact that he is the incoming president, but I’m not in the mood to celebrate that fact.”
“I thought long and hard about attending the Inauguration because I value our democracy and respect the office of the presidency, regardless of party. However, the disparaging remarks the President-elect has made about many groups, including women, Mexicans, and Muslims, are deeply contrary to my values,” Roybal-Allard said in a statement.
“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. A real president doesn't use the office to make millions more for his own wealth or his family's wealth,” Ruiz told the Desert Sun.
Waters simply tweeted, “I wouldn't waste my time.”