After Lewis said he doesn’t think Trump is a “legitimate president,” Trump went after him, tweeting that the civil rights leader is “All talk, talk, talk ― no action or results.” Lewis organized a series of sit-ins, protests and events to help raise awareness for voting rights in the 1960s. At one point, he suffered a fractured skull after being beaten by police following the Selma march.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted that Lewis could not be silenced:
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) called the president-elect “cowardly”:
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) called Trump a “complete fraud.”
The Democratic Party of Georgia came to Lewis’ defense Friday in a statement calling Trump “one of the most uneducated students of history to occupy the Oval Office.” The party took a hit directly at Trump in a tweet that referenced his praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) took his criticism a step further than many others, announcing that Trump’s comments about Lewis were part of why he would not attend the inauguration.
“While I do not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, I cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made,” Lieu said in a statement. “Trump ― who lost the popular vote ― has made a series of racist, sexist and bigoted statements. In addition, he has attacked Gold Star parents, veterans such as John McCain and now civil rights icon John Lewis.”
Lieu had said earlier that he would not partake in the ceremonies because he would be fulfilling his duties as a colonel in the Air Force reserves, but in his Saturday statement he cited Trump’s comments about Lewis as one of his reasons for not attending.
This article has been updated with comment from the Democratic Party of Georgia.
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