'I plan to skip a speech that will be filled with lies, deception and divisiveness,' Rep. Earl Blumenauer said.
There may be some empty seats in the House chamber Tuesday night as Trump delivers what's sure to be a dark and deceptive State of the Union address.
At least four Democratic lawmakers say they plan to sit out the speech, including Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, and John Lewis and Hank Johnson of Georgia.
“The thought of spending Tuesday night in the House Chamber listening to the reckless, self-centered man who occupies the White House holds no interest for me,” Blumenauer — who skipped Trump's 2018 State of the Union, as well as Trump's 2017 speech before a joint session of Congress — said in a statement.
“Just like in past years, I plan to skip a speech that will be filled with lies, deception and divisiveness,” Blumenauer continued.
Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement who also skipped Trump's SOTU in 2018, won't be in attendance either, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
And Johnson told the Journal Constitution that he'd "rather be somewhere else."
"I have a problem with defiling the speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to see it lowered, as is what happens when Donald Trump comes to our floor and starts talking about groups of people, particularly Latinos, and disparaging them as a people."
Cohen, for his part, said he will watch the speech from home.
"I'll be joining @RepJohnLewis and others in boycotting the #SOTU," Cohen tweeted on Monday. "I’ll come to the House Chamber for the State of the Union when I can hear from a president who will tell the #Truth. I’ll watch on TV, Trump’s preferred medium, although I won’t be his audience, his believing base."
Trump is expected to use the speech to try and build support for his pet border wall project that nobody wants.
Trump has tried to convince Americans of the need for the wall by lying — and even contradicting the crime and immigration statistics that come from his own administration.
For example, Trump has said that a wall will help mitigate the opioid crisis by stopping drugs from entering the country. However, the Trump administration's National Drug Control Strategy report lists a number of policies to curb drug addiction, and not one of them is building a wall.
Trump has also made up stories on crime at the border, including one story about women being found duct-taped as they are trafficked across the border — a ludicrous tale that his own administration couldn't find evidence to back up.
The White House also laughably claims that Trump wants to use Tuesday's speech to call for a "bipartisan way forward on immigration," according to CNBC.
However Stephen Miller, Trump's virulently anti-immigrant aide, is expected to have a heavy hand both in the speech and Trump's preparation for the address — a sign that the speech will be anything but unifying, and almost certainly be dark and racist.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.