Some high-profile House Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, skipped Tuesday night’s State of the Union address to protest President Donald Trump.
The New York lawmaker and fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts boycotted the speech, along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Rep. Al Green of Texas, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida and Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois.
“After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.”
Pressley tweeted that she “cannot in good conscience attend tonight’s sham.”
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan went a step further, walking out mid-address. “I’ve had enough,” he tweeted about an hour into Trump’s speech. “It’s like watching professional wrestling.”
A Politico reporter also spotted Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib walking out after Trump touted Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 confirmation to the Supreme Court.
In explaining his boycott, Bluemenaur said he was focusing instead on next year’s State of the Union:
Some other boycotting Democrats explained their reasoning:
Trump delivered Tuesday’s address under the cloud of impeachment, but is expected to be formally acquitted by a Senate vote Wednesday.