Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) on MSNBC said she will not be attending President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress because she explained, “I don’t choose to honor him.”
Waters said, “This is ceremonial. And in this ceremony people lie. They smile. They shake hands. They hug each other. They honor the president. I’m not about any of that. I’m prepared to interact with the president only when he puts up his budget and his agenda that I’m going to have to fight. So let’s not talk about the ceremony in relationship to, you know, public policy, real public policy. I don’t choose to go. I don’t choose to go. I don’t choose to honor him. I’ve said that. And I won’t be a part of the ceremony. And that’s that.”
The California congresswoman said questions about Trump’s ties to Russia will continue to dog him. She said Republican congressmen and senators cannot be trusted to thoroughly investigate Trump. “It’s going to be harder for the Republicans to defend him,” Waters said.
The most senior of the twelve black women in Congress, who has represented part of Los Angeles since 1991, closed with a pledge to continue her fight. “I know that they don’t intend to, basically, give us anything. We’re so far apart philosophically that I don’t expect anything from them,” Waters said. “So my job is to fight, fight, fight them.”
Waters is the only lawmaker who refused to boycott Trump’s first address to Congress. Also Waters was among a group of nearly one-third of House Democrats who didn’t attend Trump’s inaugural address.