NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, the only Louisiana Democrat serving in Congress, said he will attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Earlier this week, the congressman from New Orleans had said he was undecided. He told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that were he not the new chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, “there’s no way” he’d go.
“I have decided to attend the ceremony marking the peaceful transfer of power from one of the greatest, most underappreciated presidents in the modern era to Donald Trump,” Richmond said. “My attendance is in no way an endorsement of the President-elect or the destructive, divisive rhetoric that has defined him throughout his campaign and transition.”
So far, about 60 Democrats in the U.S. House have said they are not attending Trump’s inauguration.
Richmond said he will not be there to celebrate.
“I have a responsibility to take every opportunity to educate the incoming president on the problems faced by our constituents, and the thoughtful solutions our members propose,” Richmond said. “My goal remains to move the ball forward for the under-served throughout this country. I expect the president-elect will recognize that, and gain a better understanding of his obligation to be president for all Americans.”
He said he’s also attending so he can say goodbye to the nation’s first black president, a president Richmond said “was continually disrespected over the course of his time in office.”
“He deserves our gratitude and support,” Richmond said.
The inauguration takes place at 11 a.m. Central Time. It will be streamed live on WGNO.com and broadcast on WGNO-ABC26.