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.
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.”
Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2017
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017
mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017
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
It is with a heavy heart and deep personal conviction that I have decided not to attend the #TrumpInauguration on January 20, 2017.— Mark DeSaulnier (@RepDeSaulnier) January 14, 2017
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
I never ever contemplated attending the inauguration or any activities associated w/ @realDonaldTrump. I wouldn't waste my time.— Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) January 15, 2017
New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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