AOC and fellow Democrats have some cutting remarks about why they're skipping the SOTU

The address comes on the eve of Trump's all-but-certain impeachment acquittal.

February 04, 2020, 7:26 PM

At least 11 House Democrats will skip the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, with a handful detailing why in scathing remarks about President Donald Trump.

Among those choosing not to attend is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who said that after much deliberation, she decided she will not let her presence "normalize Trump's lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution."

"None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union," Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement.

PHOTO: Night falls ahead of President Donald Trump's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Feb. 4, 2020.
Night falls ahead of President Donald Trump's State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Feb. 4, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., a member of "The Squad" with Ocasio-Cortez, also announced she wouldn't be attending.

"On the eve of Senate Republicans covering up transgressions and spreading misinformation, I cannot in good conscience attend a sham State of the Union when I have seen firsthand the damage Donald J. Trump's rhetoric and policies have inflicted on those I love and those I represent," Pressley said in a statement.

The State of the Union comes on the eve of Trump's all-but-certain impeachment acquittal in the Senate.

The other House Democrats not attending Tuesday night's event are Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.; Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.; Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.; Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; Rep. Al Green, D-Texas; Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.; and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

When asked why Gabbard, a 2020 presidential hopeful, was not attending, she told ABC News' Chris Donato, "If I wanted to watch it, I can watch on TV."

Waters, Rush and Thompson explicitly cited Trump's impeachment in their remarks about why they were skipping.

“I respect the Office of the President but I do not in any way respect Donald J. Trump, who, for more than three years, has demeaned the office, and who currently stands impeached," Rush said in a statement. "It would be painfully hypocritical of me to endure 90 minutes of unrelenting lies and all types of distortions and untruths, while at the same time watching his Republican apologists cheer. I cannot honor this man in any way."

PHOTO: In this July 15, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, second from left, speaks, as U.S. Reps., from left, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, listen, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington.
In this July 15, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, second from left, speaks, as U.S. Reps., from left, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, listen, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILE

Democratic lawmakers attending include the two other members of "The Squad," Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

Tlaib will bring Carly Fraser, a high school student from Redford, Michigan, who advocates for those, including herself, who have Type 1 Diabetes, and Danielle Atkinson, an advocate and the founder/executive director of Mothering Justice, an organization in Michigan that empowers mothers to influence policy.

Omar will be accompanied by Habon Abdulle, a constituent from Minnesota's 5th District and an advocate for women in civic leadership.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will be attending with a slew of guests including Chef Jose Andres, Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO and Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter, Jaime Guttenberg, was killed in the shooting at Parkland, Florida.

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are also expected to skip in the midst of their presidential campaigning efforts.

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