Meeks says he’s boycotting Trump’s State of the Union address
WASHINGTON – Rep. Gregory Meeks said Sunday he’ll boycott the State of the Union address because President Trump doesn’t deserve the honor of his presence.
“I cannot give this man, who does not respect me, the respect to be in that audience,” Meeks (D-NY) told MSNBC’s “Politics Nation .” “I will not be there.”
Meeks represents Trump’s childhood home district in Queens.
He joins several other members of the Congressional Black Caucus who are outraged over Trump’s response to violence during a white nationalist rally in the Charlottesville, Va. , his stand on immigration policies, his continuing birther claims against President Obama and alleged denigration of certain African nations as “shithole” countries.
“At every opportunity, he’s disrespected me and individuals who look like me,” Meeks said. “I cannot respect him.”
Other Congressional Black Caucus members boycotting include Reps. Maxine Waters, leader of the impeach Trump movement; Frederica Wilson, who Trump disparaged as “wacky” over a dispute with a Gold Star family, and John Lewis, the civil rights icon.
Other Democrats planning to skip include Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
“With all the racism and hatred coming out of this White House, I will NOT be attending Donald Trump’s State of the Union address,” Jayapal tweeted.
The White House said Trump plans to deliver an optimistic message and make a bipartisan appeal to work with Democrats.
“I think the president is going to talk about how America is back,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told “Fox News Sunday.”
“…I think he’s going to talk about the fact that America is open for business. And the president is also going to make an appeal to Democrats … we need to rebuild our country and to make an appeal that to do infrastructure, we need to do it in a bipartisan way.”
Other Democrat members of Congress plan to attend but stage symbolic demonstrations by wearing black to represent the #metoo movement.
With the fate of about 800,000 young documented immigrants on the line, some Democrats will be bringing Dreamers as their guests to the address on Tuesday evening.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY ) invited Pearl River resident and Dreamer Hugo Alexander Acosta Mazariego who came to the United States at age 15 from El Salvador.
Lowey said she’ll continue to fight for Dreamers like Hugo whom Trump “is holding captive with the threat of deportation.”
Meeks said he’ll skip the speech, but watch it on TV from his Capitol office.
“I’m not going to kowtow (to Trump),” Meeks said.
Meeks said Trump is now duping his constituents with bluster about how the newly passed tax cuts will help them, when in reality they’ll “lose everything” with future cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to fund the $1.5 trillion bill.
“I don’t want to be part of his con game,” Meeks told host and fellow New Yorker Al Sharpton. “We know him. He’s a con man.”