Rashida Tlaib on walking out of SOTU: 'Even the mention of Brett Kavanaugh for me is a trigger'

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., indicated on Tuesday that she couldn't handle staying in the House chamber after President Trump started praising Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his State of the Union address.

"Even the mention of Brett Kavanaugh for me is a trigger," Tlaib told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who asked about her decision to leave.

"Just as a woman in America, the fact that he rightfully was accused and having an incredibly strong woman come for the public and the world and tell her story of sexual assault by this person who was appointed to the Supreme Court is just ... I couldn't stand still and not do anything about it and I needed to walk away from that," she added.

In his speech, Trump touted a long list of accomplishments, including the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. Tlaib appeared to be referring to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while the two were in high school.

Kavanaugh has denied any wrongdoing and was able to secure his confirmation after a long, protracted battle in the Senate.


Tlaib was one of several congressional Democrats – including fellow "Squad" member Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. – to walk out of Trump's speech on Tuesday. Some, like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., decided not to attend at all.

On Twitter, Tlaib said she walked out because Trump's alleged lies were beneath the dignity of his office.

"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," she said.


Tlaib also defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as she faced criticism for tearing up a copy of President Trump's speech at its conclusion. "I would have shredded it. #justsaying," she tweeted.