• Rep. Darren Soto to skip Trump inauguration over Twitter attack on civil rights activist


    ORLANDO, Fla. - U.S. Rep Darren Soto on Monday joined a growing group of members of Congress who have publicly announced that they will not attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

    Soto sent a statement via text message Monday morning to Channel 9’s Nancy Alvarez.

    “I am deeply disappointed with Trump’s attacks against civil rights hero John Lewis and will not be attending the inauguration as a result,” Soto a Democrat, said.

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    He was referring to an ongoing clash between Trump and Lewis, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia.

    Lewis has argued that Russian interference in the November election makes Trump’s presidency illegitimate.

    Trump took to Twitter to lash back at Lewis, calling Lewis’ congressional district, “crime ridden.”

    Trump also said Lewis, who stood by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, was “all talk and no action.” 

    The comments were considered the final straw by Democratic lawmakers who joined Lewis in a boycott of the inauguration.

    U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who represents all of Seminole County and a part of Orange County, plans to attend, her chief of staff said.

    So will U.S. Rep. Val Demings.

    Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus initially told ABC that Republicans never questioned the legitimacy of Barack Obama's presidency -- but he later acknowledged that Republicans spent years questioning whether Obama was born in the U.S.

    Lewis was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement in the U.S. and was among those beaten in 1965 during the Selma-Montgomery voting rights march.

    Priebus called the inauguration boycott "irresponsible."

    According to CNN, numerous other congressional Democrats have also said they will not be attending Friday’s inauguration, including:

    California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

    California Rep. Mark Takano

    New York Rep. Yvette Clarke

    California Rep. Ted. Lieu

    New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler

    Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva

    Michigan Rep. John Conyers

    California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier

    New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez

    Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader

    Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay

    California Rep. Barbara Lee

    New York Rep. Jose Serrano

    California Rep. Judy Chu

    Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez

    California Rep. Jared Huffman

    Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark

    New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat

    Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal

    Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan

    Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge

    California Rep. Maxine Waters

    New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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