Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., the representative for New Jerseys’ 10th Congressional district, has announced that he will not attend president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration this coming Friday, January 20th in Washington, D.C.
This past Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Georgia Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis said that he would boycott the inauguration because he doesn’t see Donald Trump “as a legitimate president” in light of Russia’s role in interfering with the U.S. elections. Trump fired back on Twitter that “Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S.,” a comment that drew criticism as being dismissive of Lewis’ legacy.
As we reported earlier today, groups like Indivisible, the progressive movement that seeks to systematically resist Donald Trump’s presidential agenda, have called on Democrats to sit out the inauguration. As of earlier today, more than 50 House democrats said they would not attend. Payne is the latest to join that list with his announcement just after 5 p.m.
It reads in full:
I have the deepest respect for the office of the presidency, something that cannot be said for President-elect Trump. His actions and statements have consistently been below the dignity of the office, and there’s no indication that will change. Donald Trump will be our president, and I will work with him if my values permit, and if doing so is in the best interest of my constituents and the nation. But I will not celebrate his swearing-in to an office that he has proven unfit to hold.
Bonnie Watson Coleman, who represents New Jersey’s 12th district, announced that she will host an interfaith prayer vigil at Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton in lieu of attending the inauguration.
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