NY Caribbean American Congressman Adriano Espalliat (with mike) is among 65 Democrats skipping Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Twitter image)
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Jan. 19, 2017: Two Caribbean-American US congress members say they won’t be present when Donald Trump takes the oath of office tomorrow, Friday January 20th, as the US’ 45th President.
Caribbean-American congressional lawmakers Yvette Clarke and Adriano Espalliat are 65 House Democrats refusing to watch as Trump is inaugurated amidst a feud between the newly elected president and the civil rights activist and congressman, John Lewis.
The Dominican Republic-born Espaillat, the newly-elected U.S. Representative for New York’s 13th congressional district, announced during the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend of activities in The Big Apple that he would not be attending Trump’s inauguration because of the President-elect’s “hateful rhetoric.”
Jamaican-American Congressmember Clarke of New York’s ninth congressional district tweeted: “Cowardly realDonaldTrump isn’t fit to polish hero repjohnlewis’ boots.” And she added: “I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.”
The number of lawmakers saying they will skip the inauguration rose sharply after Trump tweeted Saturday that Lewis is “all talk, talk, talk” and should “finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities.”
The Trump criticism came after Lewis, best known for leading civil rights protests in the 1960s, including the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., during which state troopers brutally attacked the crowd, said he sees Trump’s Nov. 8 win as illegitimate because of Russia’s alleged interference in the election and he will not attend his inauguration.
However, newly-elected Jamaican roots Senator Kamala Harris, says she will attend the Trump inauguration according to her press secretary Tyrone Gayle.
Both former President Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential election nominee Hillary Clinton are also slated to attend as are the Obamas and former President George W. Bush. George H. W Bush will not be there.
The inauguration ceremony is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m., with a musical prelude.