On Tuesday, senior House Democrat, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York announced that he will not shake President Trump’s hand.
For 29 years, Engel has secured a center aisle seat on the House floor, which is known for being a primary spot from which to shake the president’s hand in the hall. However, Engel will now be refraining from occupying the coveted position.
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Engel released an explanation as to why he is denying the chance to cordially shake Trump’s hand:
“Unfortunately, since January 20th, the new administration has shown no interest in working with the Congress on both sides to tackle problems, including Russia’s unlawful interference in last year’s election. That’s why I’ve decided not to stand on the aisle of the House chamber to shake the president’s hand during this joint session of Congress, as I have done in the past through Democratic and Republican administrations alike.
This isn’t part of our normal political discourse. This goes beyond ideological and political differences. The president needs to work with all people and therefore I will listen to what he has to say today, but I will not greet him and shake his hand.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 28, 2017
The top Democrat further referenced issues such as Trump’s easygoing attitude towards President Vladimir Putin of Russia, and his war on the media as the “the enemy of the American people.”
In denying President Trump a hospitable gesture, Engel will be joined by fellow Democratic representative, Maxine Waters, who will be skipping the upcoming speech, altogether.
H/T: The Hill
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