Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) revealed that she held Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) hand during President Trump’s State of the Union address this week during “triggering” moments so that the freshmen lawmakers could support each other before walking out of the speech.
“It was a huge struggle for me because I don’t think people realize it’s worse when you’re actually there,” Tlaib said Friday during a panel discussion, Fox News reported.
Tlaib and Omar were joined by their fellow members of “the squad,” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), at the Friday event, according to The Rising Majority, the coalition that hosted the event.
“There was moments of triggering and I kept holding your hand and we intentionally sat next to each other to support each other,” she continued.
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Tlaib and Omar were part of a group of Democratic lawmakers who walked out of President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday. Both Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley also commented on the topic of the president’s State of the Union speech, though both of the lawmakers announced early on Tuesday that they would be boycotting the event.
Ocasio-Cortez said at the Friday event that “I went last year. He’s not all that,” adding, “Much less impressive in person than on television. And I just didn’t want to sit through that.”
“Ultimately, we knew what was going to come. We knew it was going to be racist, Islamophobic, classist [and] history denying. I just didn’t feel like spending my evening legitimizing that,” Ocasio-Cortez said, Fox News reported.
Pressley said she did not want critics to have the opportunity to use “weaponized” photos of her reacting to the speech, Fox News reported.
“I wanted to control my own narrative, my own image,” Pressley said.
Tlaib later tweeted that Trump’s remarks on food stamps were “beneath the dignity of the office he occupies.” The Trump administration this week asked a federal judge to allow it to move forward with restrictions on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as food stamps, that could leave as many as 700,000 people without access to the program.
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I walked out of that speech. The lies, the bigotry, and the shameless bragging about taking away food stamps that people depend on to live—it was all beneath the dignity of the office he occupies. Shame on this forever impeached president.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) February 5, 2020
Tlaib also told MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow that she decided to leave the speech after the president praised Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during his confirmation hearing when they were teenagers.
“The fact that he 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 is just alone — I couldn’t stand still and not do anything about it,” Tlaib said Tuesday. “And I needed to walk away from that.”
Story cited here.