Cohen Won't Attend Trump Inauguration

Makes announcement at MLK commemoration at Mason Temple, tells Flyer that President-elect's insulting tweets about civil rights icon John Lewis were "the straw that broke the camel's back."

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U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen
  • U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen

Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen joined civil rights icon John Lewis (D-GA) and what may turn out to be a substantial number of other political figures in announcing Monday that he will not attend the Friday inauguration of Donald Trump as President.

Cohen, who has represented the 9th District since his first election in 2006, made the announcement Monday morning at Mason Temple of God in Christ during a commemorative celebration of the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King on MLK Day.

Telling the Flyer that a series of insulting tweets from Trump about Lewis became “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Cohen praised the Georgia congressman as someone who had “risked his life” for human rights. Trump’s tweets had come in the wake of the Lewis’ own statement that he would not be at the inauguration.

The Congressman said Trump’s attack on Rep. Lewis were particularly egregious “coming on the eve of the Martin Luther King weekend.”

Cohen said he had already been distressed by “an accumulation of distressing remarks, actions, and appointments” on Trump’s part, including “his questioning President Obama’s birth for years, the racist, misogynistic statements he made during the campaign, his inability to tell the truth, and his mocking of a disabled person,” as well as the President-elect’s attacks on Senator John McCain and actress Meryl Streep.

“This is a president who does not act presidential,” Cohen said, adding that, as a history buff, he regretted having to miss so signal an event as an inauguration ceremony.

Cohen said further had he had attended confidential briefings about Trump’s compromised behavior and circumstances and that “there’s more to it than Russia.”

Cohen had made his disregard for Trump clear in recent days, comparing him to deceased formerr Cuban strongman Fidel Castro.

In an interview with CNN last week, Cohen said, “The last two people I remember in this Western Hemisphere who were soclose to Russia were (businessman) Armand Hammer, who loved oil and money, and Fidel Castro, who loved to talk for long periods of time, hated disloyalty and dissent and eliminated it, and was very much an egocentric individual."

And, in an issues meeting with constituents, the Congressman had warned about the prospect of a new "Dark Ages" under Trump.

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