These Democratic Lawmakers Won’t Attend Trump’s Inauguration

Phil McCausland
Donald Trump
Jessica Kourkounis | Getty Images

Twenty Democratic lawmakers now say they are skipping Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20, a number that grew Saturday after the president-elect dismissed a congressman who is a civil rights icon as "all talk."

Some Democrats had said they were boycotting the event prior to Saturday, but more Democratic members of the House said they would not 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" due to alleged Russian 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."

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

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


Rep. Raul Grijalva

The Arizona Congressman 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. Mark DeSaulnier


Rep. Jared Huffman

Rep. Barbara Lee

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

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

Rep. Ted Lieu

Congressman Ted 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. John Lewis

Lewis sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd on Friday and explained that he did not consider Trump's presidency as 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," the congressman said in a Jan. 10 statement.


Rep. Katherine Clark



Rep. John Conyers, Jr.

Rep. John Conyers, the dean of the House of Representatives, will not attend the inauguration, his office told CNN on Saturday. A reason was not reported.


Rep. William Lacy Clay

A member of the St. Louis-area congressional delegation, Rep. William Lacy Clay will not attend Trump's inauguration. His spokesman, Steve Engelhard, told the Post-Dispatch that he would "be back home in St. Louis speaking to school kids" instead.

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. Earl Blumenauer

Congressman 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 Congressman will not attend the ceremony, but he typically avoids the inauguration. The congressman told Oregon Public Broadcasting that he doesn't like to attend 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. Mark Pocan