Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth to boycott Trump inauguration

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 21:59:22-05

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Representative John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, announced Monday that he will join fellow Congress members including Reps. John Lewis and Yvette Clark in boycotting Donald Trump's presidential inauguration.

In a news release, Yarmuth cited Trump's unpredictable and combative behavior since the election as the reason behind his decision to stay home.

"For the last ten weeks, President-elect Trump has continually denigrated the office of the President by using his bully pulpit for insult and ridicule," Yarmuth said. "This is not normal. It is an embarrassment to our country and to the office of the presidency, and we must send the message that this behavior is not acceptable from the leader of our nation. Not attending the inauguration is one way for me to do that."

Donald Trump will enter office with the lowest approval rating of any candidate in the last 20 years, according to a Gallup survey, and his penchant for Twitter feuds -- against opponents including Meryl Streep, Rep. John Lewis, congressional Republicans, NATO and the parents of deceased soldier Humayun Khan -- has earned reproach on both sides of the political aisle.

Those choosing to abstain from his inauguration have largely been Democrats, but other vocal critics have included Republican Sen. John McCain and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Rep. Yarmuth wrote that the decision to avoid the inauguration was not one made lightly, nor was it partisan in nature.

"It is not my intent to protest the election results or to make a statement about policy," he said. "I will not be attending the inauguration because I believe the office of the President deserves our respect, and that respect must begin with the President-elect himself."