Congressman won't shake hands with Trump before speech

PHOTO: Rep. Eliot EngelPlayABC News
WATCH Trump to deliver his first joint address to Congress

For 29 years, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., has camped out in the House chamber before a presidential address to Congress, spending hours saving an aisle seat to greet the president as he enters and exits the chamber.

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But today, the notorious aisle hog announced that he will be breaking his tradition and skip saving an aisle seat to wish President Trump well before he addresses Congress for the first time tonight.

Engel, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he made the decision in response to Trump's policies on refugees, criticism of the media and praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I have deep respect for the presidency, and I will attend the joint session. But that respect between branches must be mutual," Engel said on the House floor Tuesday.

"This goes beyond ideological and political differences. The president needs to work with all people. And therefore, I will listen to what he has to say today, but I will not greet him and shake his hand," he added.

In 2015, Engel told ABC News he enjoys sitting in the aisle of the House chamber and being in the middle of the action.

"When it happens, it's electrifying. There's so much energy, it's wonderful to be a part of it," he said at the time.