By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Members of Minnesota’s delegation are weighing in on the potential boycott of Donald Trump’s Friday inauguration.

Trump spent the weekend blasting Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who marched with King, after Lewis questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s election. Dozens of House Democrats now plan to skip the inauguration, some in support of Congressman Lewis.

On Twitter, Rep. Keith Ellison called the president-elect “the bully-in-Chief.” On Monday, he confirmed his decision to join at least 25 other members of Congress refusing to attend the inauguration, saying “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate.”

Congressman Lewis said in an interview this weekend he did not consider Trump “a legitimate president.” Then the president-elect fired back on Twitter that Lewis was all talk and no action. Lewis was a close colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was beaten by police and arrested during protests in the 1960s.

Ellison is joining many of those who are boycotting by citing Rep Lewis status as a civil rights era hero.

Trump’s Twitter rebuke toward Lewis drew support from key Republicans, including vice president-elect Mike Pence.

“I was deeply disappointed to see someone of his stature to question the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s election,” Pence told Fox News.

Still, the attack on Lewis infuriated many. Lewis was beaten by police and arrested more than 40 times during civil rights protests. Minnesota Senator Al Franken tweeted on Martin Luther King Jr. day he would honor civil rights heroes not attack them, but an aide said Franken would attend the inauguration.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar criticized Trump’s tweet, but did say she has to attend the inauguration.

“I do not agree with Donald Trump’s criticism of Congressman Lewis and thought it was over the top. I believe he has a right to decide not to attend the inauguration,” Klobuchar said.

“I am actually the incoming, ranking member of the rules committee, So I don’t have a choice. I have a job to do, and I have to be there.”

Klobuchar added that she respects the decision of anyone who decides not to go to the inauguration.

Professor David Schultz of Hamline University said the boycott of the presidential inauguration by sitting members of Congress is unprecedented in modern times.

“The last time we had a mass boycott of an inauguration was when Abraham Lincoln was elected and all the southern states boycotted,” he said. “That is how rare it is.”

For perspective: There are 535 members of Congress, which means less than 10 percent of them are participating in the boycott so far.

The timing of the controversy is especially awkward — both Sunday night and Monday, the president-elect softened his tone on Twitter, saying he wanted to work with Lewis on healing inner cities. The President-elect also met with Martin Luther King Jr’s eldest son at Trump Tower in New York Monday.

Esme Murphy

Comments (14)
  1. Good. Stay home and watch from your terrorist mosque, Ellison. You losers are done. We are going to proceed with stopping your Islamic terrorism inside our borders and throw the lazy bums off of welfare.

    1. novenator says:

      I thought you wanted to round up all those Latino’s in martial law neighborhood searches and put them into “camps”. But hey, why not include religious minorities, union leaders, teachers, people born gay, and environmentalists while you’re at it? Nothing like a good old dose of freedom-loving fascism to justify all that hatred in your heart!

  2. Chip Drewry says:

    Let’s cut to the chase and call a spade, a spade. Lewis attacked Trump first, he started it, Trump defends himself and now you have Democrats following an overrated congressman. No class at all. Name one congressman who “boycotted” Obama. You can’t. These Democrats are sick and divisive. “We can do it, but you can’t, and if you do, we’ll label racist.” They are a cancer in this country, they are the problem, not the solution. Thank goodness the adults are back in charge, I’m sick to death of these spoiled, rotten little children being in charge. You stay classy Democrats and keep it up, you’re the reason your party lost the house, senate and white house. The country is sick of your lies, smears and divisiveness. We’ve moved on.

  3. novenator says:

    I’m surprised everyone isn’t boycotting this. There is going to be a lot more anti-Trump people gathering (particularly the Million Woman March) than there will be attending the inauguration.

  4. Tim Neumann says:

    Dial 1-800-Whine, “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate”, sound like Obama and Ellison and every other bleeding heart liberal. Fear of losing at the “entitlements” doled out over the past 8 years. John Lewis fire the first round and did not expect a response?

    1. Lin Barber says:

      you sound just like the crooked moron whiner-elect

  5. Rep. Keith Ellison was once a proponent of a blacks-only nation carved out of America and cash reparations paid from whites to blacks. Ellison also called the U.S. Constitution the “best evidence of a white racist conspiracy to subjugate other peoples.”

    As a third-year student at the University of Minnesota Law School in 1989-90, he wrote two columns for the Minnesota Daily under the name “Keith Hakim.” In the first, Ellison refers to ‘Minister Louis Farrakhan,’ defends Nation of Islam spokesman Khalid Abdul Muhammad, and speaks in the voice of a Nation of Islam advocate. In the second, ‘Hakim’ demands reparations for slavery and throws in a demand for an optional separate homeland for American blacks.”

  6. robkelley17 says:

    Why is it always trash from places like Ham Lake trolling the comments section on WCCO?

    1. Lin Barber says:

      because anoka, ham lake, ramsey etc is all red neck country…they love michelle bachman also..that should tell you something lol

  7. Bob Lawrence says:

    Why does Minnesota always have to have these kooky liberals? it’s the president of the United States for pete’s sake. Like him or dislike him, you still show up. Good luck to these precious liberals getting any bill passed that has their signature on the bottom.

    1. robkelley17 says:

      ^simpleton

  8. Sam Osborne says:

    Oh well, with a friend like Putin Trump needs no enemies. Regardless, Trump is held in great disfavor by a large majority of Americans, and nightly Trump tweets away adding to the list people that cannot stand him.