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Engel Won't Shake Trump's Hand At Congressional Address

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Rep. Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York and a 29-year veteran of the House of Representatives, says he will not shake President Donald Trump's hand when the commander-in-chief addresses a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28.

"Unfortunately, since January 20th, the new administration has shown no interest in working with the Congress on both sides to tackle problems, including Russia’s unlawful interference in last year’s election," Rep. Engel explained in a speech on the floor of the House, notes The Hill. "That’s why I’ve decided not to stand on the aisle of the House chamber to shake the president’s hand during this joint session of Congress, as I have done in the past through Democratic and Republican administrations alike."

"The president needs to work with all people," Engel added. "And therefore I will listen to what he has to say today, but I will not greet him and shake his hand."

Engel won't be the only Democrat boycotting the president. Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, said she will not attend the president's speech, but will boycott it, just as she did Trump's inauguration.

"[Maxine Waters] is skipping Trump's speech to Congress," Ben Seigel of ABC News tweeted on Feb. 28. "Told caucus this morning that anyone who can't sit still shouldn't go, per sources."

“I don’t honor him, I don’t respect him and I don’t want to be involved with him,” Waters said earlier of the inauguration, continues The Hill.

During an interview that aired Feb. 28 on Fox News' "Fox & Friends," Trump described his confidence in his administration's first month: "I think I’ve done great things, but I don’t think I have -- I and my people -- I don’t think we’ve explained it well enough to the American public. I think I get an A in terms of what I’ve actually done, but in terms of messaging, I’d give myself a C or a C-plus.”

"The love is great," Trump continued, noting a recent public opinion poll. "And I saw a poll where I was at 45 or 46 percent, but one of the things they said is that the level of enthusiasm for me is as strong as they’ve ever seen."

Sources: The Hill (2), The New York Times, Fox News, Ben Siegel/Twitter / Photo Credit: Al Drago/The New York Times

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