17, January 2017
More than two dozen Democratic lawmakers have announced their boycott of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, particularly over Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and his criticism of a civil rights leader.
Some Democrats have said they will be protesting in Washington, DC, and in their districts instead of participating in the swearing-in ceremony of the 45th president of the United States on Friday.
All the 26 lawmakers, who will be shunning Trump’s inauguration, are members of the House of Representatives; no senators have said they are boycotting the event.
Some of the Democrats had declared their absence during the oath ceremony on the Capitol Hill prior to Trump’s row with African American civil rights icon and Democratic Congressman John Lewis.
Last week, Trump sparked outrage by condemning Lewis after the congressman said he would boycott the president-elect’s inauguration because he doesn’t see him as the “legitimate” president in light of reports of Russian interference. “You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong,” Lewis said.
In a Twitter outburst on Saturday, Trump said Lewis, the Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, should spend more time trying to fix his “horrible” and “crime-infested” district rather than “complaining” about the Russia’s role in the US presidential election.
Earlier this month, the US intelligence community released an unclassified 25-page report, claiming that the Russian government had directed hackers to target various Democratic Party organizations and operatives to influence the outcome of the election.
The intelligence community’s document accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering his government to help Trump win the November election.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denounced the intelligence community’s report on the alleged Russian meddling as a politically motivated “press release.”
Speaking at a news conference on January 9, Assange called the report politically motivated and damaging to the intelligence community’s reputation.
James Jatras, a former US Senate policy adviser and diplomat, told Press TV recently that the outgoing US administration, mainstream media and intelligence community are spreading the Russian hacking fiction in order to undermine Trump’s presidency and potential efforts to mend ties with Moscow