Politics

More Democrats Say They’ll Skip Trump’s State of the Union

Lawmakers cite president’s ‘racist’ comments, say they’ll have ‘state of our union’ event

Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, D-Fla., will not attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address later this month, joining four other Democrats in protest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Add two more Democrats to the list of House members catting on President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.

Reps. Frederica S. Wilson and Pramila Jayapal announced over the weekend they will join three other lawmakers boycotting the event held in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol.

“Recent racist and incendiary remarks about Haiti and African nations” were among the reasons Wilson, a Florida Democrat who feuded with Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly, last year, said she is skipping the speech.

“For the first time since I began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, I will not be attending the president’s State of the Union address. I have no doubt that instead of delivering a message of inclusivity and an agenda that benefits all Americans, President Trump’s address will be full of innuendo, empty promises and lies,” she said in a statement, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Watch: Trump’s 2018 Legislative Agenda is Already Slipping

Washington’s Jayapal cited similar concerns over “the racism and the hatred coming out the White House in a way in which this president is fueling the flames of divisiveness across our country,” she said in a video posted on social media Monday in which she announced she would not attend the president’s address.

Democratic Reps. John Lewis of Georgia, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, and Maxine Waters of California have also said they will boycott the event.

Instead, the demonstrators will host a “State of Our Union” to discuss their opposition to Trump’s “racist policies” and “make sure we put out our own aggressive vision of what our America looks like as we take it back,” Jayapal said.

The president has vehemently denied claims that he is racist.

“No. I’m not a racist. I’m the least racist person you will ever interview,” Trump told reporters on Sunday.

Other Democratic lawmakers plan to demonstrate at the SOTU address in other ways. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other women lawmakers will wear all black in solidarity with sexual harassment and assault victims.

Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women. He has denied every such allegation against him.

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