Eight Democrats plan to boycott Trump’s State of the Union speech

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By Grif­fin Con­nolly Tribune News Ser­vice

At least WASH­ING­TON — eight Demo­cratic House mem­bers will skip Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s first State of the Union ad­dress on Tues­day af­ter Rep. Al­bio Sires an­nounced Sun­day he would not at­tend.

The New Jersey Demo­crat will boycott the speech “be­cause many of his con­stituents are of­fended by the pres­i­dent’s rhetoric and be­hav­ior,” Erica Daugh­trey, a spokes­woman for the con­gress­man, told NJ.com.

Reps. John Lewis, Max­ine Wa­ters, Fred­er­ica S. Wil­son, Gre­gory Meeks, Pramila Ja­pal, Jan Schakowsky and Earl Blu­me­nauer pre­vi­ously an­nounced they will skip Trump’s speech.

Each has said Trump’s vul­gar­ity, es­pe­cially com­ments deemed hos­tile to non-white peo­ple, played a fac­tor in their de­ci­sion.

Wil­son cited “re­cent racist and in­cen­di­ary re­marks about Haiti and African na­tions” as her rea­son to not at­tend.

Jaya­pal said ear­lier in an­nounc­ing her plans to skip the speech that the pres­i­dent is “fu­el­ing the flames of di­vi­sive­ness across our coun­try” through “racism and the ha­tred com­ing out of the White House.”

Ear­lier this month, Trump crit­i­cized Haiti and called some African na­tions “shit­hole coun­tries” in a meet­ing with law­mak­ers about im­mi­gra­tion.

Sires, a Cuban im­mi­grant, called the episode “dis­gust­ing.”

Repub­li­can Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas missed Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s fi­nal SOTU speech in Jan­uary 2016 be­cause he was cam­paign­ing for pres­i­dent in New Hamp­shire.

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