Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-Louisiana, said Tuesday that some members of the Congressional Black Caucus will boycott President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address, while others "will stare racism in the face" by attending the speech.
At a Tuesday morning news conference, Richmond, who has served as the chair of the caucus -- which has about four dozen members -- since 2016, criticized Trump for what he called discriminatory words and actions, adding, "The state of our precious union is fractured."
Some members of the CBC will boycott the address, he said, while others will "stare racism straight in the face" by attending.
"The President has taken every opportunity to divide this country along racial lines," Richmond said. "Words matter. President Trump's racist rhetoric makes the county less safe for people of color by encouraging and emboldening and pandering to those who wish to do harm to others based on the color of their skin."
Richmond said it's possible some CBC members may walk out of the President's speech, but that as far as he knows, "I would say that's a rumor. I don't know of anyone who's doing it."
Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat and member of the CBC, is expected to give a response to the President's speech tonight during a BET News special called "Angela Rye's State of the Union."
Waters' response is not connected to the official Democratic response, which will be given by Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III.