Rep. Cedric Richmond Will Attend Trump’s Inauguration

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With 65 members of Congress so far—including several members of the Congressional Black Caucus—opting against attending President-elect Donald Trump inauguration Friday, today CBC Chairman and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond announced via a statement that he will attend the 58th Presidential Inauguration.

“I have decided to attend the ceremony marking the peaceful transfer of power from one of the greatest, most underappreciated presidents in the modern era to Donald Trump,” said Rep. Richmond, who represents Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, which includes much of Orleans Parish. “My attendance is in no way an endorsement of the President-elect or the destructive, divisive rhetoric that has defined him throughout his campaign and transition.”

Richmond says he will not be attending the event to celebrate, but rather to “move the ball forward for the underserved throughout this country” with the expectation that President elect Trump will “gain a better understanding of his obligation to be President for all Americans.”

 Several members of Congress reportedly decided weeks ago against attending the inauguration; however, an increasing number vocalized their plans not to attend Trump’s big day recently after the President-elect took to Twitter to disparage a venerable civil rights activist and U.S. Rep. John Lewis after the Georgia Democrat announced that he would not attend the inauguration because he did not consider Trump the legitimate President, citing Russia’s interference with the election and that he would.

Of course, Trump took to Twitter to respond, tweeting the following:

“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

That tweet drew a strong reaction from many of Lewis’ colleagues in Congress, with lawmakers from New York to California also taking to social media to chide Trump and declare their intent to forego the inauguration, with some using the #StandWithJohnLewis.

In his printed statement, Richmond says he respects the decisions made by other members of Congress, adding

“I have a deep respect and understanding for the personal decisions made by each member of our caucus,” Richmond adds. “As chair, I have a responsibility to take every opportunity to educate the incoming president on the problems faced by our constituents, and the thoughtful solutions our members propose. Also, I feel obliged to say goodbye to the first black president, who was continually disrespected over the course of his time in office. He deserves our gratitude and support.”

Here is a running list of Congress members who are planning not to attend the inauguration:

  • Terri Sewell, D-Ala.
  • Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.
  • Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.
  • Karen Bass, D-Calif.
  • Tony Cardenas, D-Calif.
  • Judy Chu, D-Calif.
  • Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif.
  • Jared Huffman, D-Calif.
  • Barbara Lee, D-Calif.
  • Ted Lieu, D-Calif.
  • Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.
  • Jerry McNerney, D-Calif.
  • Grace Napolitano, D-Calif.
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.
  • Raul Ruiz, D-Calif.
  • Mark Takano, D-Calif.
  • Juan Vargas, D-Calif.
  • Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
  • Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.
  • Darren Soto, D-Fla.
  • Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.
  • John Lewis, D-Ga.
  • Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.
  • Dan Lipinski, D-Ill.
  • Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
  • Mike Quigley, D-Ill.
  • John Yarmuth, D-Ky.
  • Chellie Pingree, D-Maine
  • Anthony Brown, D-Md.
  • Jamie Raskin, D-Md.
  • Michael Capuano, D-Mass.
  • Katherine Clark, D-Mass.
  • John Conyers, D-Mich.
  • Keith Ellison, D-Minn.
  • Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.
  • William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.
  • Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.
  • Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.
  • Donald Payne Jr., D-N.J.
  • Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.
  • Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y.
  • Grace Meng, D-N.Y.
  • Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

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