U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attacks civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis on twitter.
WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JANUARY 11, 2017) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) – President-elect Donald Trump began a long holiday weekend that honors slain black civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. by attacking another rights activist and politician who has said he will not attend the inauguration.
Democratic Representative John Lewis, of Georgia said he did not see Trump as a “legitimate candidate” in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” which will be aired on Sunday (January 15).
Lewis said he does not plan to attend Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, the first time he would miss such an event since being elected to the House in 1986.
Earlier in the week, Lewis was critical of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for the position of attorney general.
Discussing his nomination and the current civil rights climate, Lewis said, “We’ve come a distance. We made progress. But we’re not there yet. There are forces that want to take us back to another place. We don’t want to go back. We want to go forward.”
On Saturday, Trump tweeted that Lewis had falsely complained about the election results and instead “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).”
“All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!” Trump tweeted.
During the campaign, Trump said Democrats had failed African-Americans and Hispanics. “What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance,” he said at a rally last year in Ohio.
Trump won the presidency with less support from black and Hispanic voters than any president in the last 40 years, only 8 percent and 28 percent respectively, polling data showed.
Lewis, who has been a civil rights leader for more than half a century, was beaten by police during a march he helped lead in 1965 in Selma, Alabama, drawing attention to hurdles for blacks to vote. He protested alongside King that day and on other occasions.
At least 10 other Democratic U.S. politicians have also said they plan to skip the inauguration including Representatives Raul Grijalva, Lacy Clay and Mark Takano.
Several of Trump’s fellow Republicans also criticized the president-elect’s tweets.
Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska tweeted that “John Lewis and his ‘talk’ have changed the world.”
Conservative critic Bill Kristol tweeted: “It’s telling, I’m afraid, that Donald Trump treats (Russian President) Vladimir Putin with more respect than he does John Lewis.”