Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) said Tuesday she will boycott President Trump's State of the Union address because she does not want to "legitimize" the president's "lawless conduct."
Ocasio-Cortez is not alone in sitting out the president's annual address to Congress. Fellow freshman congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) has also said she will not attend the speech, though she is scheduled to deliver the Working Families Party's response.
Ocasio-Cortez said that her presence would only serve to "normalize" the Republican president.
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.
None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it.
Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez's tweet echoed Pressley's statement, which described Trump's speech as a "sham."
"On the eve of Senate Republicans covering up transgressions and spreading misinformation, I cannot in good conscience attend a sham State of the Union when I have seen firsthand the damage Donald J. Trump's rhetoric and policies have inflicted on those I love and those I represent," Pressley said.
At least five other Democrats have also refused to attend, according to The Hill. Reps. Al Green (Texas), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), and Frederica Wilson (Fla.) will all sit out the Capitol Hill address.
Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley are the only two members of the self-described "Squad" of far-left freshman Democrats who have joined the boycott. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) called for a media blackout of the pre-address lunch after the president blocked CNN from participating. She also tweeted a suggestion that Trump's delivery of the State of the Union in the midst of an impeachment trial was unprecedented, failing to acknowledge that President Bill Clinton also delivered the State of the Union while on trial.
President Trump's address will take place Tuesday night around 9 p.m.