Prominent AAPI Lawmakers Refuse To Attend Trump Inauguration

Ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration Friday, a growing group of Congressional lawmakers — among them prominent Asian Pacific American leaders — are refusing to attend the event.

California Rep. Ted Lieu, in a statement Monday, said he sees attending the inauguration as “a personal decision.” “While I do not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, I cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made,” Lieu said, and cited the President-elect’s controversial comments on immigrants, Gold Star parents, veterans, women and, most recently civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, at whom he directed a series of tweets this weekend.

In response to Lewis’ interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” where he called Trump an illegitimate president, and said he would not be attending the inauguration, Trump tweeted that the Georgia representative is “all talk, talk talk – no action or results.”

“For me, the personal decision not to attend the inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis,” Lieu said.

Lieu is joined in his decision by lawmakers like Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Whip Rep. Mark Takano, CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu and newly elected Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who each tweeted that they stand with Lewis.

As of Monday, more than two dozen Democrats have stepped away from attendance, including Reps. Raul Grijalva, Nydia Velazquez, Yvette Clarke, Barbara Lee, Luis Guiterrez and Maxine Waters.