Rep. Gerry Connolly announces he will not attend inauguration

Jan 18, 2017

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th) is joining a growing list of Democratic members of Congress planning to boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

Connolly made the announcement Wednesday, citing Trump’s comments and behavior both during and after his successful campaign for president as the reason he plans to skip the inaugural festivities. Connolly represents parts of Prince William and Fairfax counties, and publicly repudiated Trump’s remarks about Georgia Congressman John Lewis at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in Woodbridge on Jan. 16.

“His behavior and harmful words during and after the campaign have left the country I love with open, bleeding wounds,” Connolly said in a statement. “Instead of binding those wounds, he has poured salt on them. Instead of unifying us, he has reveled in driving wedges between us. His disparagement of an entire religion; his racist rants about minorities; his resurrection of white supremacy; his ridicule of the disabled; his blatant misogyny and boasting of unwanted sexual advances; his intimidation of the press; his repugnant attack on civil rights hero John Lewis; and his disturbing defense of and advocacy for Vladimir Putin — a KGB thug — threaten our democratic institutions. How can I celebrate that? The sordid aspects of his behavior must not become the new normal for America or her presidents.”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) announced on Jan. 16 that he would also not attend the inauguration.

“Yes, I treasure the peaceful transfer of power,” Beyer said in a statement. “Yes, I will respect the constitutional prerogatives of the presidency. But I will not be part of normalizing or legitimizing a man whose election may well have depended on the malicious foreign interference of Russia’s leaders, a person who lies profusely and without apology, who mimics the disabilities of others, who insults anyone who dares disagree with him, who would demonize an entire spiritual tradition, and who has demonstrated again and again a profound disrespect for women. His values and his actions are the antithesis of those I hold dear. It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to pretend to be part of this inaugural celebration.”

Connolly and Beyer are the only congressmen from Virginia to publicly boycott Trump’s inauguration so far, but they join at least 50 others from around the country in rebuking the president-elect’s swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20.

Source: Alex Koma, Inside NOVA