13 Jan 2018
House Democrats Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) announced Friday that they will not attend President Trump’s first State of the Union address this month.
Waters and Lewis each made separate appearances on MSNBC to explain that they are skipping the president’s annual address because he allegedly called Haiti, El Salvador, and several African countries “shithole” nations.
“Why would I take my time to go and sit and listen to a liar?” Waters told MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. “Someone who lies in the face of facts, someone who can change their tune day in and day out. What does he have to say that I would be interested in?”
“I don’t trust him, I don’t appreciate him, and I wouldn’t waste my time … listening to what he has to say,” she continued. “He does not deserve my attention.”
Lewis also announced that he would be skipping the address, accusing Trump of having racist sympathies after reports on the alleged remarks surfaced Thursday.
“At this junction, I do not plan to attend the State of the Union,” Lewis told MSNBC’s Katy Tur. “I cannot, in all good conscience, be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it. I wouldn’t be honest with myself.”
“I think the words and his action[s] tend to speak like one who knows something about being a racist. It must be in his DNA, in his makeup,” he added.
Waters and Lewis are the latest House Democrats to boycott Trump’s address after Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced last week that he would stay home during the State of the Union to avoid Trump’s “divisive” speech.
“Rather than listening to yet another destructive and divisive speech by Trump, I will not attend this year’s annual address to Congress,” he said in a statement. “Instead, like I did during Trump’s Inauguration, I will be working here at home listening to Oregonians about what they think about the State of the Union.”
Other Democrat lawmakers who are not planning to skip the State of the Union entirely are reportedly plotting ways to protest the speech, such as wearing black to show their support for victims of sexual misconduct.