ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — Four congressional Democrats are boycotting President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address scheduled for Jan. 30 after the president reportedly said African nations were “s—hole countries” in a closed-door meeting at the White House last week.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said they will not attend the president’s address after Trump made the derogatory comment during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers on immigration.
Lewis, the longtime Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who marched with Martin Luther King Jr., said on “This Week” Sunday, “In good conscience, I can not and will not sit there and listen at him as he gives the State of the Union address.”
Lewis further criticized the president, calling him “a racist.”
Responding to Trump’s remark, Waters released a forceful statement on Friday, in which she called for the impeachment of the president and branded him “a racist and indecent man with no good values who is woefully unfit and undeserving of the office in which he serves.”
Later, Waters made clear she does not “intend to go” to the State of the Union during an interview on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes.”
“I don’t trust him, I don’t appreciate him and I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in that House, listening to what he has to say,” she said. “He does not deserve my attention.”
In a statement to ABC News, Wilson said she will not be attending Trump’s address but she has no doubt that Trump’s message will be one of “innuendo, empty promises, and lies.”
“It would be an embarrassment to be seen with him at a forum that under any other president would be an honor to attend,” Wilson said.
Joining other members of Congress in foregoing the annual event, Jayapal shared a short video on Twitter to denounce what she called the “racist policies that are being put out of the White House.”
The group of Democrats nixing the address, she said, will instead “put forward our own progressive vision of what our America looks like as we take it back.”
The number of congressional members not attending the president’s speech could grow. Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana told CNN in an interview that the group he chairs, the Congressional Black Caucus, will “talk about” boycotting the State of the Union as a caucus during their Wednesday meeting.
The president has denied reports that he ever said “s—hole countries” during the Oval Office meeting, instead asserting that he’s the “least racist person” reporters “have ever interviewed.”
The White House has not responded to a request for comment.
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