After a bit of confusion last night, a top aide to U.S. Rep. John Lewis confirmed this morning that the Atlanta congressman skipped President Donald Trump’s first speech before a joint session of Congress Tuesday.
As Trump spoke, we saw a lot of Tweets — including from a few news organizations — noting Lewis’ presence, seated right next to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough of “Morning Joe” fame. Problem is, that wasn’t Lewis.
Meet Elijah Cummings of Maryland. Yes, he’s also a bald, African American man. He’s on the left, and Lewis is on the right:
In the hours leading up to the speech, Lewis played coy about whether he would attend.
Lewis became the face of the Democrats’ opposition to Trump after he said on “Meet the Press” last month that he didn’t see the then-president elect as “legitimate.” His comments drew a rebuke from Trump, who tweeted that Lewis “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart.”
While dozens of House Democrats joined Lewis in boycotting Trump’s inauguration, most attended yesterday’s speech and chose to voice their dissent in other ways. Some sported blue ACLU ribbons. Many of the Democratic women wore white in a nod to suffragettes. Others chose to be political through their guests, inviting undocumented immigrants, Muslim-Americans and others to sit overlooking the chamber in order to spotlight the human impact of what they see as negative Trump policies.