Following President-elect Donald Trump's war of words with Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia over the civil rights icon's refusal to both attend the inauguration or acknowledge the business mogul's legitimacy, over 36 House Democrats have followed suit in pledging to skip the upcoming swearing-in ceremony.
On Jan. 13, Lewis ignited controversy when he stated that he did not view Trump as a legitimate president and that he would snub his inauguration day, due to his belief that the president-elect allegedly received help from the Russian government during the 2016 campaign.
"It will be the first one that I miss since I've been in Congress," Lewis told NBC News. "You can't be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right."
On Jan. 14, Trump fired back on his Twitter, accusing Lewis of being "All talk, talk, talk -- no action or results. Sad!"
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On Jan. 17, Trump blasted Lewis again for misstating his attendance record of presidential inaugurations. Lewis had also snubbed the 2001 inauguration of former President George W. Bush, USA Today reports.
Lewis' spokeswoman, Brenda Jones, issued a statement clarifying that the Georgia lawmaker "did not believe the outcome of that election … reflected a free, fair and open democratic process."
As of Jan. 17, over three dozen House Democrats had publicly announced their decision to also boycott Trump's inauguration, slated for Jan. 20. They have not been joined by a single one of their colleagues in the Senate, CNN reports.
The members of Congress who plan on snubbing the president-elect on inauguration day offered varied reasons for their decision, but the majority cited what they believed to be Trump's disrespect of Lewis, several using the Twitter hashtag #StandWithJohnLewis.
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"I will NOT attend the inauguration of [Trump]," tweeted out Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York. "When you insult [Lewis], you insult America."
"I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate," tweeted out Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is currently running to chair the Democratic National Committee.
Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia shared a statement via his Twitter asserting that while he valued the peaceful transfer of power, he would "not be part of normalizing or legitimizing a man … who lies profusely and without apology, who mimics the disabilities of others, who insults anyone who dares disagree with him, who would demonize an entire spiritual tradition, and who has demonstrated again and again a profound disrespect for women."
While pledging to skip the inauguration, Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego blasted Trump for "birther conspiracies, attacks on Gold [star] parents & civil rights heroes."
Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington asserted that while he believed Trump's response to Lewis was "ignorant … I'm not not going to the inauguration as a statement. I'm not going because I'd prefer to be home."