Speed Reads

Trump's big speech

Rep. Maxine Waters won't attend Trump's speech because she doesn't 'respect this president'

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California pulled no punches on Tuesday, bluntly telling reporters she won't be at President Trump's address to Congress tonight because she doesn't "honor" or "respect" him, adding, "I'm not joyful in the presence of this president."

"These are ceremonial exercises," Waters said. "These are exercises where we honor the president, and people are shaking hands, smiling. It is an occasion where people are basically sending the message that everybody's working together, everything is going well. I don't quite see it that way." She also said she's thought about it, and if Trump would "apologize to the disabled for mimicking and mocking the disabled journalist, if he would apologize to women for talking about grabbing them in their private parts, if he would apologize for some of the other outrageous actions that he has been involved in," she would consider engaging "in this kind of ceremony."

This isn't the first time Waters has skipped something Trump-related — she wasn't at his inauguration — and said while she isn't a fan of Trump's, she would refrain from yelling at the president like Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) did to former President Barack Obama in 2009. "I would never speak out in the chamber," Waters said. "That's what Republicans do, not what Democrats do."