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Trump Inauguration Boycott Includes These New York Congressional Democrats

By Jeff Mays | January 16, 2017 1:39pm | Updated on January 18, 2017 2:20pm

NEW YORK CITY — When Donald Trump is sworn in as the nation's 45th President in four days, several New York City congressional representatives won't be there.

The Democrats say they are boycotting for several reasons: from Trump's decision to not fully divest from his business empire to his attacks on civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

They include: Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Adriano Expaillat, Rep. Yvette Clarke, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Rep. Grace Meng and Rep. Jose Serrano. They join at least two dozen other Democratic representatives from around the country who have announced they are boycotting Trump's inauguration.

Nadler told CNN's New Day he would not be attending because of Trump's "inflammatory comments" and his "racist campaign."

"The rhetoric and actions of Donald Trump have been so far beyond the pale — so disturbing and disheartening — and his continued failure to address his conflicts of interest, to adequately divest or even to fully disclose his financial dealings, or to sufficiently separate himself from the ethical misconduct that legal experts on both side of the aisle have identified have been so offensive I cannot in good conscience participate," Nadler said in a statement.

Espaillat said "the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration. THIS is not Dr. King’s Dream!"

Trump's attack on Lewis is also another reason that many House Democrats say they are not attending the inauguration.

Lewis was a leader during the civil rights movement who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was nearly beaten to death during the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965.

He is a revered civil rights icon.

Lewis told NBC News' "Meet the Press" that he believes Trump is not a "legitimate president," because of alleged Russian hacking of the election.

"I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton," Lewis said.

Trump, who acknowledge for the first time last week that the Russians were involved with hacks related to the election, responded with critical remarks about Lewis and the Georgia district he represents.

Trump added that "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!"

Lewis represents upscale parts of Atlanta and its suburbs where several black colleges are located. Many considered Trump's remarks disparaging to African-Americans and an insult to Lewis. Velazquez called Lewis a "national hero."

Nadler also sided with Lewis.

Velazquez said that while she has no plans to attend the inauguration, she will attend the Women's march on Washington the day after to protest some of Trump's proposed policies.

Clarke said she was at first "inclined" to attend the inauguration as "a ceremonial rite of passage" to represent her district, but that this election was different.

“Unfortunately, I cannot honor this inclination when the normal democratic process has so clearly been undermined. To state the matter simply, the 2016 presidential election lacks integrity," Clarke said.

Serrano wrote on Instagram that he "cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard for my constituents."


Speaking on "Face the Nation," Vice President-elect Mike Pence criticized the boycotts, saying "inaugurations are a moment when we should come together around the person who has been elected president of the United States."

The list of New York area representatives who may boycott Trump's inauguration could grow. Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is still deciding if he will attend the inauguration. He is concerned with Russia's interference in the election as well as with Trump's behavior.

"We're in the process of making that decision and will make an announcement this week," Jeffries' spokesman Michael Hardaway told DNAinfo New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also said he would not attend the inauguration.