- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 20, 2019

Democratic leaders of the Virginia Legislature said Friday they plan to skip festivities being held in Jamestown this month if President Trump is present.

The politicians issued a joint statement threatening to boycott events marking four centuries since Jamestown hosted the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere.

“We will not be attending any part of the commemorative session where Donald Trump is in attendance,” said House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn, House Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring, Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw and Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke.

“The current President does not represent the values that we would celebrate at the 400th anniversary of the oldest democratic body in the western world,” they said in the statement. “We offer just three words of advice to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation: ‘Send Him Back.’ “

Media outlets reported earlier Friday that Mr. Trump had been invited to attend the commemorative ceremonies scheduled for July 30.

The White House has not announced if Mr. Trump will attend the festivities, and administration officials did not immediately return messages requesting comment.

Virginia state Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., a Republican, said he considered it an honor to be invited and urged Democratic colleagues to reconsider.

“Sharing the views of the leader holding an elected office is not a prerequisite for showing respect for the office,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Trump has faced heightened criticism from Democrats in Virginia and beyond after his speech during a reelection campaign rally Wednesday evening was interrupted by supporters chanting “send her back” about a foreign-born U.S. congresswoman, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat and a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The president has denied inspiring the chant despite suggesting that Ms. Omar and other congresswomen of color “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Defending himself on Twitter over the weekend, Mr. Trump shared a video of the chant and said: “As you can see, I did nothing to lead people on, nor was I particularly happy with their chant. Just a very big and patriotic crowd. They love the USA!”

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