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Dem congressman says he’s received ‘hate phone calls’ for planning to attend Trump inauguration

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

With more than 50 Democrats — many of whom are Latino or African-American — making headlines for boycotting President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration Friday, one member of the Congressional Black Caucus is taking heat from his constituents for bucking the trend.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri, has said he is going to attend the inauguration in hopes of inspiring unity, though the decision has led to quite a few hateful phone calls in recent days.

"We've got to get to a point where we start working with each other," Cleaver told Fox News' Neil Cavuto Thursday. "That's one of the reasons I'm coming to the inauguration."

"Look," he continued, "I've been getting all kinds of hate phone calls — they started about three days ago."

When the Cavuto asked where the calls are coming from, the congressman said it's from people who are telling him he has "no business going to the inauguration" because Trump "is going to do damage to this country."

"I met with a group of Latino leaders last night and they're telling me how frightened their people are that things are gonna change dramatically and painfully for them," Cleaver explained. "[S]o there is a lot of anxiety out here."

In a town not particularly known for its civility and compromise, Cleaver said he has made it his goal to always be "civil" because "the dialogue needs to change in Washington."

"My words, I hope, will always match my actions, or the reverse," he told Cavuto.

During his final White House press conference on Thursday, President Barack Obama refused to comment on his fellow Democrats' decision to skip Trump's swearing-in.

"All I know is I'm gonna be there — so is Michelle," Obama told reporters. "I have been checking the weather, and I'm heartened by the fact that it won't be as cold as my first inauguration. Because that was cold."

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