Rep. Jerry Nadler took to CNN to explain why he will not be attending President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration this Friday. The Manhattan Democrat, whose spokesman confirmed to us on Saturday that he was skipping the event, said, "I cannot go because of the President-elect's inflammatory comments racist campaign, his conflict of interests, refusal to disclose his taxes, and the last straw was his personal ad hominem attacks on an icon of civil rights movement, someone who suffered beatings and almost gave his life for this country, John Lewis."
Nadler also agreed with Lewis's belief that Trump isn't a "legitimate" leader. "He was legally elected, but the Russian weighing in the election, the Russian attempt to hack the election — and frankly, the FBI's weighing in on the election — I think makes his election illegitimate. It puts an asterisk next to his name," Nadler explained.
— Poppy Harlow (@PoppyHarlowCNN) January 16, 2017
Nadler did say that he and other Democrats will "work with him when we agree with him, we’ll oppose him when we don’t agree with him."
Here's Nadler's formal statement about refusing to participate in the inauguration:
“The rhetoric and actions of Donald Trump have been so far beyond the pale - so disturbing and disheartening - and his continued failure to address his conflicts of interest, to adequately divest or even to fully disclose his financial dealings, or to sufficiently separate himself from the ethical misconduct that legal experts on both side of the aisle have identified have been so offensive I cannot in good conscience participate in this honored and revered democratic tradition of the peaceful transfer of power.
“We cannot normalize Donald Trump, and we certainly cannot turn our heads and ignore such a threat to the institutions and values of our democracy. His refusal to adequately address his business conflicts of interest, to show remorse for the inflammatory rhetoric in which he engaged during his campaign, his attempts to intimidate the press, and his continuing failure to demonstrate any interest in uniting Americans reveal a deep disrespect for the office of President.
“I refuse to sit idly by as he flaunts his illicit behavior without regard for the American people’s interest. I refuse to abide any effort to undermine a free and independent press, which serves a pivotal role in any democratic system and whose rights are guaranteed by our Constitution. I refuse to applaud for a man with a history of offensive and abusive behavior to women and minorities. I refuse to treat January 20, 2017, as business as usual.
“For these reasons, I have no interest in participating in the inauguration ceremony of Donald J. Trump.”