Millions of Americans are tuning in to President Trump's first State of the Union address, and most of Washington's power elite are in attendance as he addresses the joint session of Congress. But a number of lawmakers aren't joining them.
Dozens of Democratic lawmakers skipped Trump's inauguration in protest. And following a year of the president battling and battering those on the left, several of them said they had no interest in hearing Trump's view on the condition of the United States.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.)
The Democrat boycotted Trump's inauguration and says he will do the same Tuesday night for his State of the Union speech, tweeting:
“Rather than listening to another destructive, divisive speech by Trump, I will not attend this year's annual address to Congress. Instead, like I did during his inauguration, I'll be working at home listening to Oregonians about what they think about the State of the Union! #SOTU.”
Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (Fla.)
The lawmaker whose South Florida district includes many immigrants from Haiti and predominantly black countries tweeted that she wouldn't be attending after Trump reportedly called their home nations “shithole countries.”
“I cannot in good consciousness attend the #SOTU address after the president went so low in his remarks about Haiti & African nations. It would be hypocrisy to go to an event at which he is honored,” she tweeted.
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (N.Y.)
The New Yorker's district is home to sizable populations of black Americans, including immigrants. He tweeted:
“He does not respect me or the communities I represent, so I cannot in good conscience sit idly on the House floor and listen to his scripted speech. #SOTU.”
Rep. John Lewis (Ga.)
“At this junction, I do not plan to attend the State of the Union,” Lewis said on MSNBC this month after Trump's comments on African nations and Haiti.
“I cannot in all good conscience be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it,” he added.
Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.)
The frequent critic of Trump will appear on BET News “Angela Rye’s State of the Union” to respond to the president's speech.
“Why would I take my time and go and sit and listen to a liar? To someone who lies in the face of facts,” she said on MSNBC after being asked if she planned to attend. “What does he have to say that I would be interested in?”
Rep. Albio Sires (N.J.)
The Cuban immigrant said many of the Americans he represents have been offended by Trump's comments.
“The congressman is not attending the State of the Union because many of his constituents are offended by the president's rhetoric and behavior,” said Erica Daughtrey, a spokeswoman for Sires.