Congressman Steve Cohen Joins Growing List Of Lawmakers Who Won't Attend Trump's Inauguration

(localmemphis.com) - President-Elect Donald Trump is just days away from taking over as commander-in-chief, but you can add Congressman Steve Cohen to the list of lawmakers who will not attend Trump's inauguration.

Rep. Cohen made the announcement Monday morning at the Dr. King “Be The Dream” commemorative event at the Mason Temple in Memphis.

Rep. Cohen told the audience at a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event he made the decision largely because of Trump's recent Twitter war of words with Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights icon.

“I will not be attending the inauguration," Rep. Cohen said. "The president needs to become presidential, thank you very much."

Cohen's planned no-show is a complete no-no for Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland.

"Somebody better make sure that Steve Cohen gets back on his meds because let me tell you, he's a complete embarrassment," Roland said.

Cohen is part of a growing list of House Democrats who said they won't attend Donald Trump inauguration festivities.

"This President semi-elect does not deserve to be President of the United States," Rep. Cohen said. "He has not exhibited the characteristics, the values that we hold dear, that Dr. King holds dear, that John Lewis holds dear."

Roland, who will attend the inauguration, argued Rep. Cohen's deliberate diss of a peaceful transition of power proves he refuses to respect tradition and work across the aisle.

“What he's doing is he's crawling back in a hole, and how does he think he's going to represent somebody by not being there?" Roland said.

Rep. Cohen said he'll watch the inauguration ceremonies from his condo in Washington, D.C. He will provide tickets Thursday night from his D.C. office for constituents who wish to attend.

Rep. Cohen: “Eight years ago, Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the United States. His campaign was based on hope and change. But at this time in our history, hope and change have unfortunately become fear and dread. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream is turning into a nightmare. The man who will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States repudiated Barack Obama from the beginning of his presidency, questioning his legitimacy, saying he wasn't born in this country, therefore he shouldn't be and was not legally the President of the United States of America. That was racism and it was a lie, and it was fake news, and it was wrong!

Donald Trump continued with that same vein, saying that Vladimir Putin, one of the meanest, cruelest people in power in the world, was a greater leader than Barack Obama. Your values speak to your leadership. What you do with your leadership speaks to your values. When you are for evil, for killing, for stopping democracy, and for stopping people who speak out and not allowing them to express themselves, you are not a great leader. You are an evil leader.

This president-elect said John McCain was not a hero. He said so much about Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants and people with disabilities that was despicable. He took on a woman named Meryl Streep, who is one of the great actresses of all time and a saint in many people's eyes, and condemns her on Twitter.

I had a decision to make on whether or not to attend the inauguration. I would love to attend the inauguration. I am a member of Congress through the votes of my constituents. I value our government. I appreciate it greatly. But 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. I sat on the floor of the House of Representatives with John Lewis to protest the inability of the Republican Congress to give us a vote on gun violence. I sat with John Lewis then. And I will stand with John Lewis now. Therefore, I will not be attending the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America this week.”

Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland, a Trump supporter, responded Monday to Cohen's decision not to attend the inauguration. 

Rep. Cohen joins a growing list of lawmakers who have said they would not attend the ceremonies, which also includes:

  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon
  • Rep. Judy Chu, D-California
  • Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts
  • Rep. Yvette Clark, D-New York
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Missouri
  • Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-California
  • Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-New York
  • Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio
  • Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona
  • Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois
  • Rep. Jared Huffman, D-California
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington
  • Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California
  • Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California
  • Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin
  • Rep. Mark Tekano, D-California
  • Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon
  • Rep. Jose Serrano, D-New York
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-New York
  • Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California

 


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