House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and other House Democrats plan on wearing white to President Donald Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday evening in a silent protest.
MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell asked Pelosi, who was wearing white and purple, about how Democrats would behave during Trump’s speech and if her wearing white was a form of silent protest.
Pelosi however, used a different term to refer to her decision to wear white and purple.
“It’s not even a protest. It’s a statement of values,” Pelosi said. “It associates ourselves with our suffragette mothers, the color of white, the color purple.”
“So the women Democrats are likely to all be wearing white tonight?” Mitchell asked.
“Many will be wearing white, but the fact is our House Democratic caucus will be very dignified tonight,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi posted a photo of Democratic women wearing white on Facebook, writing, “Keep your eye out tonight as Democratic #WomenWearWhite in support of women’s rights during the Joint Session!”
Trump will make his first address to Congress Tuesday evening in the United States Capitol. The speech is not technically a State of the Union address, but carries similar ceremonials with it.
Unlike Trump’s inauguration, it does not appear that many Democrats in Congress plan on boycotting the event. As of early afternoon on Tuesday, only Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) had announced that she would not be attending the speech and asked for her colleagues to join her.
Meanwhile, other Democrats have said they will not shake Trump’s hand. Normally called “Aisle Hogs” because they have stood along the aisle to shake presidents’ hands throughout their years in Congress, Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D., N.J.) have pledged to not shake Trump’s hand and will sit somewhere else. Engel has sat along the aisle to shake hands with the president since 1989.
Democrats wearing white is meant as a nod to the Suffragette movement, while purple represents bipartisanship as a mix of red and blue. Hillary Clinton wore the colors for these reasons when she wore white to the inauguration, and wore purple on the morning after her stunning loss in the 2016 presidential election.