Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley Are Skipping Trump's State of the Union Address: 'Will Not Legitimize It'

Hours before the 2020 State of the Union, Democratic Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts on Tuesday afternoon both announced that they will not be attending President Donald Trump's address.

The freshman Democrats will join five other House Democrats in boycotting Trump's last SOTU address before the 2020 elections, which is taking place on the eve of the Senate impeachment trial vote which is expected to acquit the president. The five Democrats—Reps. Al Green of Texas, Hank Johnson of Georgia, Frederica Wilson of Florida, Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon—Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley are skipping the event to protest Trump's policies and actions in the White House.

"After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump's lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. "None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it. Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union."

"The occupant of the White House incessantly stokes fear in people of color, women, healthcare providers, LGBTQ+ communities, low-income families, and many more," Pressley said in a statement. "He does not embody the principles, the responsibility, the grace, nor the integrity that is required of the President of the United States."

"The State of the Union is hurting because of the occupant of the White House, who consistently demonstrates contempt for the American people, contempt for Congress, and contempt for our constitution—strong-arming a sham impeachment trial in the Senate," Pressley added. "This presidency is not legitimate."

The White House declined to comment when Newsweek reached out.

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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) , a US politician elected in 2018 as the youngest ever to have a seat in the House of Representatives, speaks to the thousands of people who participated in the People Climate March, which marks the conclusion of the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 11, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ole Jensen/Getty

With Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, the total number of Democrats who have indicated they will boycott the event is now at seven. Last year, at least six House Democrats sat out Trump's address to the nation. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia did not attend last year but has not confirmed whether he will skip tonight's event. "During normal times, I would consider it my duty to attend and hear the President's agenda for the upcoming year. Unfortunately, these are not normal times," the Democrat tweeted on Monday.

In 2018, 14 Democrats skipped Trump's annual address to protest the president calling some African nations "s**thole countries," among other things. It is not unusual for members of the Democratic Party to boycott events involving the president. At least 60 decided not to attend the president's inauguration in early 2017.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley Are Skipping Trump's State of the Union Address: 'Will Not Legitimize It' | Politics