More Democratic lawmakers have said they plan to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th US president on January 20.
The boycott comes amidst a feud between Donald Trump and the civil rights activist and congressman, John Lewis.
Up to now, more than 50 House Democrats announced they are refusing to watch the president-elect’s inauguration.
John Lewis, a revered member of the 1960s struggle, sparked controversy on January 13 when he called Donald Trump’s victory illegitimate because of Russia’s alleged interference in the election.
Donald Trump hit back on Twitter, attacking the Georgia lawmaker as “all talk, talk, talk – no action or results”, which prompted a wave of outrage from people saying if anyone embodied action, it was John Lewis.
Dozens of members of Congress have announced they will skip the inauguration ceremony.
Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota tweeted following the row: “I will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate.”
Maryland Representative Anthony G. Brown also tweeted: “Skipping Inauguration. @RepJohnLewis a civil rights hero. Enormous responsibility to be POTUS. I respect the office, can’t tolerate disrespect.”
The number grew to more than 40 over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, but that did not stop Donald Trump from continuing to rail against the 76-year-old civil rights icon on January 17.
Donald Trump tweeted that John Lewis had falsely claimed this would be the first inauguration he has missed since joining Congress in 1987.
“WRONG (or lie)!” the president-elect tweeted, saying John Lewis had skipped George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001.
John Lewis’ office confirmed that he did miss President George W. Bush’s ceremony.
Spokeswoman Brenda Jones said: “His absence at that time was also a form of dissent.
“He did not believe the outcome of that election, including the controversies around the results in Florida and the unprecedented intervention of the US Supreme Court, reflected a free, fair and open democratic process.”
An estimated 800,000 to 900,000 people are expected to flood Washington on January 20 for the inauguration, but it is unclear whether they will be there in celebration or protest, officials said.
President Barack Obama drew an estimated 1.8 million people to Washington when he took office in 2009.
The “level of enthusiasm” and demand for hotel rooms has not reached that of previous inaugurations, according to Elliott Ferguson, president of Destination DC, the city’s convention and tourism bureau.
In fact, some hotels have reduced the minimum-night stay from four nights to two.
Other hotels are only 50% full, but higher-end hotels appeared to have more bookings, he added.
Donald Trump’s swearing-in comes at a time when the nation appears deeply divided after the contested election.
Though Donald Trump swept the Electoral College, his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 2.9 million more votes.
Recent polls have also showed historically low marks for any presidential transition.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll found just 40% of Americans view Donald Trump favorably compared with the 79% President Barack Obama received in 2009.
A CNN/ORC survey released on January 17 also showed Donald Trump with a 40% approval rating compared with the 84% Barack Obama had in 2009.
A Gallup poll conducted two weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration found 51% of respondents disapproved of how he is handling the presidential transition compared with 44% who approved.