Brooklyn congress members are following Georgia Rep. John Lewis’s lead and claiming President-elect Donald Trump is not a “legitimate” president because of Russia’s influence on the election.
Lewis told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd in no uncertain terms: “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” and the Tweet-happy, soon-to-be commander in chief fired back in 140 characters or less, saying that Lewis, who has been attacked and arrested more than 40 times over a half-century of activism, was “all talk.”
Reps Nydia Velazquez (D–Red Hook), Yvette Clarke (D–Flatbush), and Jerry Nadler (D–Borough Park) are all refusing to go to Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 out of solidarity with Lewis — and now two are saying The Donald is not their president.
“I don’t want to pretend that this is a normal president or a normal election. This election was corrupted by the Russians, placing their fingers on the scales, by the FBI placing its finger on the scales,” Nadler said during a live interview on MSNBC this week. “It’s a legal election, we are not taking that away, but it’s not legitimate. And so I don’t particularly want to honor it that way.”
Clarke is also refusing to acknowledge Trump’s presidency as the real deal — she had been contemplating the decision to not attend for a while because of his hate-filled comments against Mexicans, Muslims, and women, but it was his lack of respect for a Civil Rights hero that put her over the edge, she said.
“I think that the political process by which we normally elect presidents in the United States was breached, and so the integrity of that has been diminished and that is cause to view this as an illegitimate process,” said Clarke. “And then I think what put the nail in the coffin was the lack of maturity that Trump has displayed in the use of his Twitter and the fact that he would respond to a Civil Rights icon like John Lewis during MLK weekend, to say such disparaging things about the people he represented in Georgia, that was a done deal.”
But Velazquez won’t go as far as her colleagues to declare Trump an illegitimate president — though she plans to skip Inauguration Day and instead march with thousands of women in Washington D.C. the next day.
The borough’s only Republican rep in Washington, Congressman Dan Donovan (R–Bay Ridge) will proudly attends the Jan. 20 ceremony, though he respects his colleagues for their own decisions and will still work with them across the aisle, he said.
“My colleagues are exercising their right,” he said. “I am going to attend, I think it’s an incredible moment in our history. I hope my other colleagues who supported Clinton, that they would get behind the president, because his success will be America’s success.”