Jan 17, 2018, 12:52 PM ET

4 congressmen to boycott Trump's State of the Union in response to 's---hole' remark


Four congressional Democrats are boycotting President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address scheduled for Jan. 30 after the president reportedly said African nations were "s---hole countries" in a closed-door meeting at the White House last week.

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Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said they will not attend the president’s address after Trump made the derogatory comment during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers on immigration.

Lewis, the longtime Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who marched with Martin Luther King Jr., said on "This Week" Sunday, "In good conscience, I can not and will not sit there and listen at him as he gives the State of the Union address."

Lewis further criticized the president, calling him "a racist."

Responding to Trump's remark, Waters released a forceful statement on Friday, in which she called for the impeachment of the president and branded him "a racist and indecent man with no good values who is woefully unfit and undeserving of the office in which he serves."

PHOTO: Rep. Maxine Waters on Capitol Hill, Jan. 31, 2017 in Washington, D.C.Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images, FILE
Rep. Maxine Waters on Capitol Hill, Jan. 31, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Later, Waters made clear she does not "intend to go" to the State of the Union during an interview on MSNBC’s "All In With Chris Hayes."

"I don’t trust him, I don’t appreciate him and I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in that House, listening to what he has to say," she said. "He does not deserve my attention."

In a statement to ABC News, Wilson said she will not be attending Trump's address but she has no doubt that Trump's message will be one of "innuendo, empty promises, and lies."

"It would be an embarrassment to be seen with him at a forum that under any other president would be an honor to attend," Wilson said.

PHOTO: Rep. Frederica Wilson speaks during the TV Ones Screening Bad Dad Rehab at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Sept. 16, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Kevin Wolf/AP, FILE
Rep. Frederica Wilson speaks during the TV One's Screening Bad Dad Rehab at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Sept. 16, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

Joining other members of Congress in foregoing the annual event, Jayapal shared a short video on Twitter to denounce what she called the "racist policies that are being put out of the White House."

The group of Democrats nixing the address, she said, will instead "put forward our own progressive vision of what our America looks like as we take it back."

The number of congressional members not attending the president's speech could grow. Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana told CNN in an interview that the group he chairs, the Congressional Black Caucus, will "talk about" boycotting the State of the Union as a caucus during their Wednesday meeting.

The president has denied reports that he ever said "s---hole countries" during the Oval Office meeting, instead asserting that he's the "least racist person" reporters "have ever interviewed."

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

Prior to Trump’s comment, a fifth legislator, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., announced that he will not attend the State of the Union. The congressman said that hearing from his constituents "is a more productive use of my time."

ABC News' Mariam Khan and Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.

News - 4 congressmen to boycott Trump's State of the Union in response to 's---hole' remark

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  • Victoria Kugler

    The liar in chief will not be on my TV.

  • Mary Stevens

    They won't be missed!!!

  • klaude_NYC

    Trump's SOTU speech will be very short - 3 MAGA's accompanied with 2 hand gestures (1 fist pump and 1 peace sign for photos). The writers have to keep it simple at trump's 4th grade level of speech.

  • MauiOhana808

    80% of the country will miss this too.......by choice.........we grow tired of the orange one...........
    Make America Happy Again!...................Thank you Special Prosecutor Mueller
    Aloha : D

  • ryanwiwb

    I still think that Republicans in Congress should be conveniently sick that day. Their attendance at Trump's State of the Union is nothing if not a ready made ad for whoever runs against them in the fall.

  • AdderallDiaires

    Then this would be a repeat of election 2016 where Democrats didn't show up to the voting booths but far outnumbered Trump supporters in the polls? : )

  • Alan H

    I have to chuckle with sympathy when I hear the 37%'er lemmings speak up in some sort of defense of tRUMP.

  • Alan H

    ....Rather that boycott the speech and only empty chairs will not faze tRUMP. They should, stand up in their chairs and turn their backs to him during the whole pack of lies speech.

  • Julie Castro

    I hope more Democrats boycott the "State of the Union"............let's have a full room of Republican's then!1

  • muttonchops

    Who cares they could all stay home........peace and quiet then.

  • HelloDarkness

    I wonder if there will be a "YOU LIE!" moment during the SOTU Address.

  • Blaize Rage

    Boycott Congress.

  • KTM250 TPI

    Does anyone care?

  • Wes Buckman

    Race baiting drama queens!

  • LewTwo

    State of the Union === Trump vs the World

  • OneBitTwoBit

    Another childish temper tantrum.

  • Johnny Sanchez

    These fools are nothing but racist traitors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Craig Mcdonald

    I say go ahead. It doesn't affect key personnel or programs that are mandated. It does hurt the illegals they are fighting about, which show a total absence of logic. And if it continues long enough, it shows Trump and others will see just what can be cut to boost the reduction of the national debt far beyond anything a tax increase could accomplish. BTW, there are Republicans threatening a shutdown over the same issues. And a government shutdown doesn't affect Congressional pay at all.

  • Rettas Vegas

    If that's the best they can do to denounce TrumPutin till the 2018 big blue wave sweeps the congress clean of the castrated GOP congress then I'll take it.
    Better than what the GOP is doing, which is putting their party before country, no shade for them in November, ZIP!

  • Dr. Gurnicus Blanstonius

    Can't wait for the State of the Union address ...think he'll update us on the illegal voter investigation? Or how Mexico is paying for the wall? Or maybe new evidence on his Geraldo Rivera-like birther investigation?

  • philips66

    they won't be there because they always put political party before country. Just like last years'. Has nothing to do with fake racism of the s-hole comments

  • Dr. Gurnicus Blanstonius

    Who wouldn't be excited to hear, from the president's own lips, how great he is, how he's prevented airline disasters, now he's the least racist person you've ever met, how he alone is responsible for all 'good' in the world and Obama is responsible for everything bad in the world...

    It's as if we've ceased being intelligent adults and now are having a bad 'Andrew Dice Clay' nightmare...

  • Conor Fay

    Who cares? If they really want to get serious they should tell their constituents to boycott their welfare checks each month.

  • Blue Wave

    No elected member should boycott the State of the Union. Like me, I don't respect the man, but I do respect the office.

  • Evan German

    Would it not be a better protest to go to the address and, as one Obama hater did years ago, shout out your displeasure one by one, and then all rise and walk out together, making a definite 'photo op' moment if the 'Master at Arms' of the room tries to follow his orders and keep the doors closed, barring them from exit IN A FREE COUNTRY! Now THAT would be 'theater' that even Trump would have to applaud, being the 'reality entertainment guru' that he is in his own mind. LOL