More than one-third of House Democrats boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration


Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis knows a thing or two about fighting for what’s right, and this week he’s taken another moral stand: refusing to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press, the Georgia congressman said, “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president… I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected.”

Lewis’ stance earned him a Trump tweet-attack, but he isn’t alone. The congressman is now one of at least 66 members of Congress — more than one-third of House Democrats — who have vowed to skip Friday’s inauguration as a protest against the incoming president.

As the boycott mounted, Trump responded in a Fox News interview Wednesday, saying “That’s OK, because we need seats so badly… I hope they give me their tickets.”

President Obama was asked to criticize the boycott in his final press briefing Wednesday — he didn’t.

Here’s who has committed to boycotting the event so far, in chronological order. We’ll update this list as it grows:

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Illinois)

Illinois’ Luis Gutiérrez was the first congressman to announce he would not attend the inauguration back in December of 2016.

“I could not look my wife, my daughters, or my grandson in the eye if I sat there and attended, as if everything that the candidate said about the women, the Latinos, the blacks, the Muslims, or any of those other things he said in those speeches and tweets, and that all of that is okay or erased from our collective memory,” he recently told the House floor.

Instead, he will attend the Women’s March on Washington.

Representative Katherine Clark (Massachusetts)

Katherine ClarkAP

Clark, a friend of Lewis, is no stranger to protest. She was the first to suggest a sit-in on the House floor for gun control measures in June — something Republicans are still furious about.

On January 5, Clark tweeted a statement confirming she would not attend Trump’s swearing-in.

“Families in my district are fearful that the anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and divisive promises that drove the Trump campaign will become the policies affecting the health and safety of every American,” she wrote.

“I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the Inauguration,”

Representative Jared Huffman (California)

Jared HuffmanAP

On January 7, Huffman wrote in a Facebook post that “it is abundantly clear to me that with Donald Trump as our President, the United States is entering a dark and very dangerous political chapter. I will do everything I can to limit the damage and the duration of this chapter, and I believe we can get through it. But I will not sit passively and politely applaud as it begins.”

He continued: “the way to defeat his dark political agenda is not to sit around complaining and criticizing; it is through active citizenship, principled resistance and positive counteraction.”

Representative Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)

Earl BlumenauerAP

In a Facebook post on January 7, Blumenauer said he wouldn’t attend the presidential inauguration for the first time in his two decades in office.

“There is unprecedented concern by my constituents about the many threats posed by a Trump administration seeking to implement the President-elect’s policies on health, environment, nuclear weapons, and immigration, to name but a few,” he wrote.

“I will forgo the inauguration, spending the day instead in my district talking with Oregonians to hear their priorities, try to answer their questions, and prepare for the coming assault on the values and programs we hold dear. It is hard to think of a better use of my time on January 20th.”

Representative Nydia Velazquez (New York)


Velazquez, the former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress, made her stance clear in a short tweet on January 9:

“I will not be attending inauguration of @realDonaldTrump but WILL participate in the @womensmarch on January 21st.”

Representative Barbara Lee (California)

Barbara LeeGetty Images for The Elizabeth T

Longtime progressive congresswoman Lee made her position against Trump clear in a January 12 press release.

“On January 20th, I will not be celebrating or honoring an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House,” she said. “I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.”

Representative Raúl Grijalva (Arizona)

Raul GrijalvaGetty Images

Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Grijalva announced on the House floor on January 13 that he would not attend Trump’s inauguration.

“My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy, but as an individual act — yes, of defiance, at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we are taking in this Congress,” he said.

Instead, he’ll spend the day meeting with Arizonans and climate change activists.

Representative Lacy Clay (Missouri)

William Lacy ClayAP

Lacy Clay has been in the headlines recently for hanging a painting in the U.S. Capitol building that calls attention to police brutality against people of color — something that’s infuriated the right and sparked an ongoing confrontation.

He’s also decided to sit out Trump’s big day — he’ll be “back at home in St. Louis speaking to school kids,” his spokesman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on January 13.

Representative Jose Serrano (New York)

House Democrats Along With Veterans And Current Service Members Call For Immigration ReformGetty Images

Congressional Hispanic Caucus co-chair Serrano, whose district in the South Bronx is one of the few majority-Latinx constituencies in the country, said he would not go to the inauguration in a tweet on January 13.

“I will not attend the #inauguration2017 next week- cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard for my constituents,” he wrote.

Representative Mark DeSaulnier (California)

DeSaulnier outlined his reasoning for sitting out Trump’s inauguration while standing before portraits of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. in a video.

“I have failed to see… a belief in common American decency and a respect of law and a respect of the Constitution (in Donald Trump),” he said. “This President, I believe, when he puts his hand on the Bible… he will be breaking that oath, and breaking the Constitution of the United States during that time that he is being sworn in.”

Representative Kurt Schrader (Oregon)

Kurt SchraderAP

Schrader told Oregon Public Broadcasting on January 13 that he would not attend Trump’s festivities.

“I’m just not a big Trump fan. I’ve met the guy and never been impressed with him,” he said.

“I’ll do my best to work with him when I think he’s doing the right thing for the country. But he hasn’t proved himself to me at all yet, so I respectfully decline to freeze my ass out there in the cold for this particular ceremony.”

Representative Jerry Nadler (New York)

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 12:  U.S. Represetnative Jerrold Nadler joins members of and members of Congress at an event to demand congress renew an assault weapons ban, along with delivering more than one million signed petitions, at United States Capitol Building on July 12, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for

Nadler won’t be attending the inauguration and will release a statement about it next week, his spokesman told Gothamist.

In response to Trump, Nadler tweeted “@realDonaldTrump stands with V. Putin. I stand with @repjohnlewis” on January 14. Nadler has been an outspoken Trump critic and has published a manual called “How We Resist Trump and His Extreme Agenda.”

Representative Mark Takano (California)

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., speaks at the Congressional Forum on Violence Against the Transgender Community on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015 in Washington. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign)

Responding to Trump’s tweets on January 14, Takano tweeted “I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration.”

Takano is the first openly gay Asian American member of Congress.

Representative Yvette Clarke (New York)

Yvette Clarke

In a tweet January 14, Clarke announced, “I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.”

Earlier, the Brooklyn congresswoman, who chairs the House Multicultural Media Caucus and co-chairs the Black Women and Girls Caucus, had tweeted “Cowardly @realDonaldTrump isn’t fit to polish hero @repjohnlewis’s boots.”

Representative Ted Lieu (California)

Ted Lieu

Lieu, a former Air Force Colonel now representing California’s 33rd congressional district, released a statement on January 14 explaining his decision not to attend Trump’s inauguration: “I cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made.”

Lieu noted Trump’s “racist, sexist, and bigoted statements,” as well as Trump’s attacks on Gold Star parents, veterans, intelligence personnel, and John Lewis. Lieu also said “On January 20, Trump will be in violation of Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution because of the massive conflicts of interests he has with his global business holdings.

“For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.”

Representative Adriano Espaillat (New York)

Adriano Espaillat

Espaillat, the first Dominican American U.S. congressman elected in 2016, wrote on Facebook on January 14 that he would boycott the inauguration to protest Trump.

“Many have given their lives and dedicated their lives to working to fulfill Dr. King’s dream and make it a reality, and it is up to us to preserve his legacy and the legacy of President Barack Obama to ensure that we do not go back in time!

“President-elect Donald Trump is trying to take us back! And the people Trump is appointing– Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions – are trying to take us back!

“That’s why I am not attending the presidential inauguration. Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration. THIS is not Dr. King’s Dream!”

Representative Judy Chu (California)

Judy Chu

Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress, tweeted on January 14 that she would not attend the inauguration.

“After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration,” she wrote. “I stand with those who have fought for us and encourage future leaders to act with inclusion and respect.”

Representative Pramila Jayapal (Washington)

Pramila Jayapal

Jayapal, a progressive civil rights activist from Seattle who recently became the first Indian American woman elected to Congress, confirmed on Twitter that she would not attend Trump’s inauguration.

In a direct reply to Donald Trump on January 14, she wrote “@repjohnlewis stands for best of everything in America. If anyone knows about action not words, it’s him. #ImWithJohn”

Representative John Conyers (Michigan)

John Conyers

Conyers will not attend Trump’s inauguration, his staff confirmed to multiple outlets on January 14.

He is the longest-serving member of Congress, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and was the first to introduce a bill to make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day an official holiday in 1968, 4 days after King’s assassination. That initial effort was defeated, though the holiday was finally signed into federal law in 1983.

Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (New Jersey)

Bonnie Watson Coleman

At a town hall on January 14, Watson Coleman told a crowd of around 150 people she would not attend Trump’s inauguration, reports TAPInto.

“I am very concerned with this administration coming in,” she said. “When this inauguration is taking place, we will pray for our country and the most vulnerable people, and we will pledge to stand together against evil wherever we see it, even if it comes out of the White House.”

Instead, she’ll be joining the Women’s March on New Jersey. “We will stand against any aspect of dismantling of rights for women and anybody else… I can think of no more important place to be than supporting my constituents and renewing my energy to fight for their freedoms.”

Representative Zoe Lofgren (California)

Zoe Lofgren

Lofgren, the congresswoman from San Jose who famously called a law professor an “ignorant bigot” for giving transphobic testimony during a House hearing, won’t be attending Trump’s swearing in.

“I acknowledge the fact that he is the incoming president, but I’m not in the mood to celebrate that fact,” she explained to the Los Angeles Times in a story published January 15.

Representative Mark Pocan (Wisconsin)

Mark Pocan

Originally planning to attend Trump’s inauguration, Pocan announced he had changed his mind on January 15 in a Facebook post.

“After long consideration based on reading the Classified document on Russian hacking and the Trump candidacy on Thursday, the handling of his conflicts of interest, and this weekend’s offensive tweets about a national hero Rep. John Lewis, I am no longer attending the event. At minimum, it’s time for Donald Trump to start acting like President Trump, not an immature, undignified reality star with questionable friends and a Twitter addiction. I hope for better, but will not hold my breath.”

Pocan is an openly gay former businessman who identifies as a progressive Democrat.

Representative Marcia Fudge (Ohio)

Marcia Fudge

Fudge went on the AM Joy show on January 15 to announce she would boycott the inauguration of Donald Trump. During the interview, she also defended John Lewis against Trump’s attacks. “John Lewis has done more for Atlanta than probably any one single individual,” she said.

Joy also confirmed in a tweet: “I will not be attending #Inauguration. I will be at home in Cleveland. #IStandWithJohnLewis.”

Representative Maxine Waters (California)

Maxine Waters

Waters, the longest-serving black woman member of Congress and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, confirmed she would not attend Trump’s big date on January 15.

“I never ever contemplated attending the inauguration or any activities associated w/ @realDonaldTrump. I wouldn’t waste my time,” she tweeted.

Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (California)

Lucille Roybal-AllardAP

Roybal-Allard will not attend Trump’s inauguration, her office told Fusion in an email on January 15.

“I thought long and hard about attending the Inauguration because I value our democracy and respect the office of the presidency, regardless of party. However, the disparaging remarks the President-elect has made about many groups, including women, Mexicans, and Muslims, are deeply contrary to my values. As a result, I will not be attending the Inauguration.”

Roybal-Allard is the first Mexican American woman elected to Congress.

Representative Dwight Evans (Pennsylvania)

Dwight EvansAP

Elected to Congress in 2016, Evans confirmed on Twitter he would not go to Trump’s inauguration.

“I #StandWithJohnLewis,” he wrote on January 15. “I will not be attending the inauguration. Russian hacking must be investigated and I do not support the repeal of ACA.”

Representative Karen Bass (California)

Karen BassAP

In a unique approach, Bass crowdsourced her decision to abstain from the inauguration, reaching out directly to her followers on social media in a Facebook Live and Twitter poll on January 15.

After 24 hours of voting, with over 4,000 votes cast on Twitter, more than three-fourths of respondents told Bass she should not go. She confirmed to Fusion that she would not be attending.

Representative Keith Ellison (Minnesota)

Keith Ellison

The co-chair of the Progressive Caucus and one of the Democratic Party’s biggest stars, Ellison — the first Muslim American elected to Congress, a contender for the chairmanship of the DNC, and a favorite of Bernie Sanders — joined the boycott on Martin Luther King Day, January 16.

Ellison made his announcement in an epic tweetstorm, declaring “No question I am #StandingwithJohnLewis and the millions of people around the country who have been targeted by @realDonaldTrump.

“I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate. I won’t be attending Donald Trump’s inauguration.”

Representative Anthony Brown (Maryland)

Anthony BrownAFP/Getty Images

Elected to Congress in 2016, former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Brown took to Twitter on January 16 to announce he would not go to see Trump sworn in.

“Skipping Inauguration. @RepJohnLewis a civil rights hero. Enormous responsibility to be POTUS. I respect the office, can’t tolerate disrespect,” he tweeted.

The son of immigrants, Brown is also an Iraq War veteran and Bronze Star recipient.


Representative Don Beyer (Virginia)

Evans, a former ambassador and lieutenant governor of Virginia, announced to a gathering of constituents on January 16 that he would not attend the inauguration.

He tweeted the statement: “I will not be part of normalizing or legitimizing a man whose election may well have depended on the malicious foreign interference of Russia’s leaders, a person who lies profusely and without apology, who mimics the disabilities of others, who insults anyone who dares disagree with him, who would demonize an entire spiritual tradition, and who has demonstrated again and again a profound disrespect for women.

“(Trump’s) values and his actions are the antithesis of those I hold dear. It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to pretend to be part of this inaugural celebration.”

Representative Steve Cohen (Tennessee)

Steve CohenGetty Images

Cohen announced his decision not to attend inauguration at the historic Mason Temple at Memphis, Tennessee on January 16.

In an official statement, Cohen said “This President semi-elect does not deserve to be President of the United States. He has not exhibited the characteristics or the values that we hold dear. That Dr. King held dear. That John Lewis holds dear. And when he questioned the integrity of my friend, colleague and civil rights icon John Lewis, that crossed the Rubicon.”

Representative Chellie Pingree (Maine)

Chellie PingreeGetty Images for Chef Action Net

Pingree announced she would not attend the inauguration at an MLK Day dinner on January 16.

In a statement, she wrote, “President-elect Trump’s actions go beyond any kind of reasonable debate—they threaten the constitutional values our country is based on. I won’t dignify or normalize those threats by standing by at his ceremony.”

Representative John Yarmuth (Kentucky)

Rep. John YarmuthAP

Yarmuth announced he would not attend Trump’s inauguration on January 16.

In a statement posted to Twitter, the Louisville congressman said, “It’s not my intent to protest the election results or to make a statement about policy. I will not be attending the inauguration because I believe the office of the President deserves our respect, and that respect must begin with the President-elect himself.

“Since he made his ignorant comments about Congressman John Lewis this weekend, I have heard dismay from hundreds of constituents. Thousands more have contacted me over the past months regarding his shameful remarks about women, the disabled, immigrants, and countless others — as well as his continued praise of a hostile foreign leader.

“This is not normal. It is an embarrassment to our country and to the office of the presidency, and we must send the message that this behavior is not acceptable from the leader of our nation. Not attending the Inauguration is one way for me to do that.”

Representative Darren Soto (Florida)

Darren SotoAP

Soto tweeted a statement on January 16: “I have a long history of working across the aisle and will continue to do so in Congress. However, I am deeply disappointed with President-Elect Donald Trump’s attacks against civil rights hero Congressman John Lewis and will not be attending the Inauguration as a result.”

Representative Brendan Boyle (Pennsylvania)

Brendan BoyleAP

In a statement posted to Facebook on January 16, Boyle said he would not attend Trump’s inauguration.

“I believe Donald Trump is a unique threat to the Constitution and to our country,” he wrote.

“As much as I cherish this day, can I in good conscience celebrate that which I believe is a grave mistake? Can I sit by mere yards away and applaud the desecration of the most important office in the history of the world?

After wrestling with this question for the last two months, I have concluded I cannot participate in this Inaugural celebration.

“I accept the decision of the people. I respect it. But I will not celebrate it.”

Representative Raul Ruiz (California)

Raul RuizGetty Images

Ruiz, a congressman from La Quinta, California, will skip the inauguration to attend a veterans’ expo, he confirmed January 16.

Explaining his decision, he told The Desert Sun that, while he respects the office of the President, Donald Trump has not shown such respect.

“A real president doesn’t attack the press because they ask tough questions,” said Ruiz. “A real president doesn’t insult and bully celebrities or everyday Americans because they disagree with him. A real president doesn’t use the office to make millions more for his own wealth or his family’s wealth.”

Representative Carol Shea Porter (New Hampshire)

In a short post to social media, Shea Porter confirmed on January 16 she would not attend Trump’s inauguration, making her the first U.S. representative from New Hampshire to join the boycott.

Days earlier, Shea Porter tweeted, “Attended intelligence briefing Fri. in Capitol. Very worried.” She linked to an unclassified intelligence report on Russian hacking, which she urged viewers to share.

Representative Al Green (Texas)

Al GreenAFP/Getty Images

The seven-term Democrat announced on January 16 that he would be the first legislator from Texas to sit out President-elect Trump’s inauguration.

“I will not attend the inauguration because conscience says it is the right thing to do.” Green said in a statement.

Representative Bob Brady (Pennsylvania)

Brady said on January 16 he would join two other congressmen from Philadelphia, Dwight Evans and Brendan Boyle, in sitting out Trump’s inauguration, The Inquirer reported.

Representative Ruben Gallego (Arizona)

On January 17, Congressman Ruben Gallego—a child of Mexican immigrants, and former Marine corps member who served in Iraq—announced on Twitter that he would not be attending Friday’s inauguration.

Representative Juan Vargas (California)

Representative Mike Doyle (Pennsylvania)

Representative Mike Quigley (Illinois)

Quigley joins his colleague Luis Gutierrez in the inauguration boycott, aides told the Chicago Tribune.


Representative Bennie Thompson (Mississippi)

Thompson will not attend Trump’s event, staffers confirmed.

“Mr. Trump’s recent insensitive and foolish remarks about civil rights hero John Lewis were far beneath the dignity of the Office of the President,” said Cory Horton, a Thompson staffer. “Additionally, Congressman Thompson continues to have concerns about the role that Russia had in our country’s democratic process.”

Representative G.K. Butterfield (North Carolina)

Representative Alma Adams (North Carolina)

Representative Joaquin Castro (Texas)

““Every American should respect the office of the presidency and the fact that Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. But winning an election does not mean a man can show contempt for millions of Americans and then expect those very people to celebrate him,” Castro said in a statement.

Representative Tony Cardenas (California)

Representative Frederica Wilson (Florida)

Wilson confirmed her stance to MSNBC’s Joy Reid.

Representative Lloyd Doggett (Texas)

Representative Alcee L. Hastings (Florida)

““President-elect Trump has made it clear that when given the choice, he stands with Vladimir Putin. I choose to stand with Rep. John Lewis,” wrote Hastings in a statement.

Representative Daniel Lipinski (Illinois)

Representative Jamie Raskin (Maryland)

Representative Donald Payne (New Jersey)

Representative Jerry McNerney (California)

Representative Louise Slaughter (New York)

Representative Gerry Connolly (Virginia)

Representative Jan Schakowsky (Illinois)

Representative Mike Capuano (Massachusetts)

Representative Grace Meng (New York)

“The President-elect must get the message that his antagonistic and divisive comments are unacceptable. We cannot tolerate attacks on women, minorities or a civil rights icon,” said Meng in a statement.

Representative Terri Sewell (Alabama)

Representative Donald McEachin (Virginia)

Representative Alan Lowenthal (California)

Representative Grace Napolitano (California)

California representative Grace Napolitano will not attend the inauguration, she said in a statement.

Representative Filemon Vela (Texas)

Vela tweeted January 19 that he originally hoped the inauguration would be a “moment of healing and outreach.”

“Mr. Trump’s repeated acts of disrespect for the 33 million Americans of Hispanic descent are historic in modern times,” continued Vela.

“One would think that an American President in the 21st Century would be dedicated to eradicating racism once and for all.

“However, Mr. Trump has turned a blind eye to overt racism. Indeed, in many instances, Mr. Trump himself has stirred the seeds of bigotry. This is an ominous sign for the future of the American Presidency and the United States of America.”

Unconfirmed or other reasons

A handful of other House Democrats have said they would not attend Trump’s inauguration, though not necessarily as a protest.

Representative Pete Visclosky (Illinois) won’t go, but not as a boycott — “I historically have not attended inauguration ceremonies,” he said in a statement.

Representative Peter DeFazio (Oregon) told Oregon Public Broadcasting he would not attend, but that he typically avoids “pomp and circumstance events in Washington.”

Representative Eleanor Norton (D.C.) has said she will not attend inauguration because she is recovering from surgery.

Representative Albio Sires (New Jersey) said he won’t go because he’s “under the weather,” the Observer reported.

Representative Adam Smith (Washington) told The Stranger that in spite of his opposition to Trump, his absence was not a protest. “I’m not not going to the inauguration as a statement. I’m not going because I’d prefer to be home.”

There are signs more members of Congress are getting ready to bail on Trump’s ceremony. After Trump’s attacks on Lewis, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (New York), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, told Politico: “You can guarantee this will cause people to organize with even greater intensity. This will make it even more likely that additional members skip the inauguration.”