WASHINGTON — Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat and a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Wednesday that he will attend President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration -- even as dozens of other Democrats have decided against it.
Cummings' decision means that all but two Maryland lawmakers -- Rep. Anthony G. Brown of Prince George's County and Rep. Jamie Raskin of Montgomery County -- will attend Trump's inauguration on Friday.
"I plan to attend President-elect Trump's inauguration," Cummings said in a statement. "This is a decision each member must make for himself or herself. Like many of my colleagues, I have been fighting my entire life to create a more equal society for all Americans, so I certainly understand why some of them have come to the conclusion that they cannot attend."
Cummings said the inauguration was about more than Trump.
"It is a chance for the world to witness our nation's greatest ritual: the peaceful transfer of power," Cummings said. "As millions of Americans witness the event, I want them to know that there will be members of Congress present who will be vigilant to ensure that the Trump administration is held to the highest ethical standards."
Trump stirred anger among Democrats with his tweets on Saturday directed at Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights icon who was among the original Freedom Riders.
Lewis, who also boycotted President George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001, had questioned the legitimacy of Trump's victory in an interview over the weekend.