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John Lewis leads dozens of Democrats to boycott inauguration


More than 50 House Democrats will boycott President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, including many who are citing the Republican's criticism of Georgia Rep. John Lewis as “all talk.”

A handful of Democrats, including Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, had announced they wouldn't attend the swearing-in ceremony before the feud escalated. But the number skyrocketed after Trump tweeted Saturday that Lewis was "no action" and said his district is a “crime infested” area that is “falling apart.”

Trump's tweets came a day after the Democrat told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he will skip Trump’s inauguration next week because he doesn’t see the New York businessman as a “legitimate president.”

At least 52 House Democrats have said they will skip the ceremony, more than one-quarter of the 194 Democrats in the chamber. Many of the lawmakers used a pro-Lewis hashtag to announce their decisions. Here are a few:

California Rep. Judy Chu:

Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Doyle:

Pennsylvania Rep. Dwight Evans:

New York Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez:

Trump slammed Lewis again on Tuesday, tweeting that he was "wrong" for saying he was skipping his first inauguration in 30 years. Lewis' office later confirmed he also boycotted George W. Bush's 2001 inaugural as a "form of dissent."

Georgia’s three other congressional Democrats have said they’ll attend Trump’s swearing-in - including Rep. Hank Johnson, who was hedging a bit over the weekend. He said he decided to attend "after a lot of reflection and input from my constituents."

“While I deeply respect and understand my colleagues’ decisions of conscience to boycott, for me the inauguration is a simple, yet profound ceremony marking the peaceful transfer of the power of the Presidency in accordance with our Constitution," said Johnson, adding that it will be a chance to thank the Obamas "for a job well done.”

At least one Georgia Republican, Gov. Nathan Deal, is opting out of the inauguration hoopla, but for very different reasons. His office said the cost to taxpayers for the trip to Washington would be around $20,000.

Related: Nathan Deal: The election is over and Trump won

Related: It continues: Donald Trump dings John Lewis for skipping Bush inauguration

Related: Which Georgia Democrats are boycotting Donald Trump’s inauguration?

Related: Trump to John Lewis: Fix your ‘horrible’ Atlanta district

Related: Donald Trump condemned for attacks on John Lewis and his Atlanta district

 


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.