Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., announced Monday she would not be attending President Trump’s first State of the Union Address later this month, making her the fifth Democratic lawmaker to boycott the event.
"I'm here on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to say I will not be going to the State of the Union," Jayapal said in a video.
"I think it is absolutely unacceptable to see the racism and the hatred coming out the White House in a way in which this president is fueling the flames of divisiveness across our country," she added.
ANNOUNCEMENT: With all the racism coming from the White House, I will NOT be attending @realDonaldTrump's State of the Union.
Instead, we'll focus on the State of OUR Union, our opposition to his agenda, and we will lift up a progressive and inclusive vision of our country. pic.twitter.com/dcAWMIkZZV— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) January 15, 2018
She cited a report where Trump reportedly called some nations “shithole countries” and allegedly made disparaging remarks about Haiti during a White House meeting with lawmakers Thursday. Jayapal criticized him for "demeaning entire countries [by] calling them remarkably vulgar terms."
Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.; Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.; and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., have also announced they will not attend.
Jayapal said those skipping will have their "own State of Our Union to talk about our opposition to these racist policies that are being put out of the White House and to make sure we put out our own aggressive vision of what our America looks like as we take it back."
Trump defended himself Friday by tweeting he “never said anything derogatory" and claimed he never said anything derogatory specifically about Haiti. However, some lawmakers who were present at the meeting confirmed Trump's "shithole" comment, while others have said they do not recall the remark.