Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) does not consider the presidency of Donald Trump “legitimate,” he said in an interview with NBC News that appeared Friday.
“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis told Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected and they have destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
Lewis added that he believes there was a conspiracy “on the part of the Russians and others” to help Trump get elected.
“That’s not right, that’s not fair, that’s not the open democratic process,” he said.
Intelligence officials briefed Trump last week on their findings that Russia had interfered in the election with the intention of helping his candidacy. Trump has begrudgingly accepted that some kind of activity took place, he said during a press conference earlier this week, but he’s continued to dismiss the idea that foreign meddling actually affected the outcome of the election.
Lewis also said that he will not attend Trump’s inauguration, and that it will be the first one he’s missed since his election to Congress in 1986.
“You cannot be at home with something that you feel is wrong,” Lewis said.
Trump responded to Lewis’ comments Saturday via his favored means of communication, Twitter:
This article has been updated to include Trump’s tweeted response.
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