Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) said she and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) sat next to each other during the president’s State of the Union address so they could “hold hands” in “moments of triggering.”
The comments were made during a panel discussion Friday hosted by The Rising Majority with all four members of the progressive “squad.”
“You know, I think it was a huge struggle for me because I don’t think people realize it’s worse when you’re actually there,” said Tlaib. “No, it really is. And actually there was moments of triggering and I kept holding your hand and we intentionally sat next to each other to support each other.”
“Again, I couldn’t sit through some of it and we ended up leaving, especially when they just went full out applause when they put that medal around Rush,” Tlaib continued, referring to radio legend Rush Limbaugh, who received the Medal of Freedom during the speech and was recently diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
Tlaib and Omar said their presence at the speech was a form of “resistance,” but they both apparently ended up leaving. In fact, the Michigan congresswoman jumped on Rachel Maddow’s show shortly after walking out of the speech to explain her decision to leave.
“I think, you know, even the mention of Brett Kavanaugh for me is a trigger just as a woman in America,” Tlaib said. “The fact that he, you know, rightfully was accused and having an incredibly strong woman come before the public and the world and tell her story of sexual assault by this person that was appointed to the Supreme Court—I couldn’t stand still and not do anything about it. I needed to walk away from that.”
Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) both decided to skip President Donald Trump’s speech.
“After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct and subversion of the Constitution. None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter.
Pressley said she could not “in good conscience attend tonight’s sham,” later saying she wanted to control her “own image.”
The president’s State of the Union ended with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up her copy of the speech.
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