WASHINGTON -- Rep. Keith Ellison will not attend the inauguration this week of Donald Trump, saying on Monday he will not “celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate.”
Ellison made the announcement on Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday and cited that he was standing with Rep. John Lewis in his decision — an African-American civil rights icon who was beaten and jailed in the 1960s fighting for civil rights.
Lewis said last week he didn’t consider Trump a “legitimate president,” which sparked the president-elect to take to Twitter to criticize Lewis, saying he was “talk, talk, talk” and that he should work more on his district which he called in “horrible shape” and “falling apart.” Since Trump’s tweets, more than 15 members of Congress have said they will boycott the Friday festivities in Washington. Lewis and Ellison are both members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“No question I am standing with John Lewis and the millions of people around the country who have been targeted by @realDonaldTrump,” Ellison posted on Twitter. “The time is always right to do what is right. And in the face of so much hate, the right thing to do is reject it.”
The other ten Minnesota Congressional delegation members – three Republicans and seven Democrats – confirmed plans to attend the inauguration, including both Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.
Ellison is vying to be elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee – a purely political and partisan job. He says he will resign his House seat if chosen by members in February.