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Inaugural Boycott Grows Amid Trump, Lewis War of Words

01-17-2017
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More than 40 congressional Democrats now say they're boycotting President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.

Some of the Democrats who won't be attending say they don't agree with the president-elect and are unhappy with his response to Congressman Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.  

The spat between Trump and Lewis occurred after Lewis said he wouldn't attend the inauguration because he considers Trump an illegitimate president due to Russian hacking during the election.

"I will not be going. People have not forgotten that he attacked a Mexican- American judge; he attacked a Gold Star Family, and now a civil rights icon. I cannot pretend this is a normal transition of power," explained Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif. 

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Service Committee earlier this month that Russian interference did not change any vote counts.

Lewis also skipped the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001 because he didn't believe Bush was "the true elected president."

Meanwhile, other congressional Democrats will be attending Trump's swearing in on Friday, like Sen. Cory Booker, D- N.J. 

Booker says that even though he opposed Trump's nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as attorney general and opposes Trump's agenda, he feels it is still important to attend. 

"I respect everybody's choice in this. My personal feeling is this is the peaceful transition of power," Booker told USA Today.  

On Martin Luther King Day, Trump met with King's son, Martin Luther King III, at Trump Tower to discuss voting rights.  Afterward, King III was asked about Trump's fallout with Lewis.

"First of all, I think in the heat of emotion, a lot of things get said on both sides. I think that at some point I am, as John Lewis as many others are, a bridge builder, " he replied. 

The meeting between the civil rights leader's son and the president-elect reportedly began with a prayer for the healing of the nation.

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