In a reversal of plans, U.S. Jamie Raskin on Tuesday announced he will boycott Friday’s inauguration of Republican President-elect Donald Trump, whom he accused of “relentless trafficking in bigotry, misogyny and fear.”
Raskin, who was elected in November to represent District 8, said in an interview Sunday he believed it was his constitutional duty to attend the swearing-in ceremony, even though many fellow progressives were opting to sit it out.
“But, as the hour approaches, I realize that I cannot bring myself to go,” the Takoma Park Democrat said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
Raskin said he’d wanted to support the normal transition of power as he did when Republican Gov. Larry Hogan took office a couple years ago while Raskin was a state senator. But it was impossible to approach Trump’s inauguration with the same sentiment, he said.
Trump’s denial of Russian interference in the presidential election and his harsh and divisive language—including recent attacks on civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis—contributed to Raskin’s change of plans, he said.
“Given these dynamics and given that one can never have any confidence in what Trump might say or tweet, I cannot risk my presence at his inauguration being interpreted as any kind of endorsement of the normality of our situation,” he said.
Raskin is the second congressional representative from Maryland to announce plans to sit out the inauguration, with U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown on Monday revealing he would skip the event. Altogether, more than 50 Democratic lawmakers are participating in the boycott, The Washington Post has reported.
Here is Raskin’s full statement:
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