President Donald Trump said that he would not be attending the civil rights icon John Lewis’ memorial service that occurred on Monday.
What We Know:
- Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis died from pancreatic cancer on July 17 at the age of 80 and lay in the state capitol, one of the six-day funeral proceedings which started on Saturday. Politicians like Vice President Mike Pence, second lady Karen Pence, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Jill Biden paid their respects to Lewis by visiting the capitol.
- While the public was granted permission to pay their respects as well on Monday and Tuesday, President Trump told reporters that he wouldn’t be paying his respects to Lewis at the Capitol on either of the days when asked if he would. But it isn’t a surprise considering Trump and Lewis didn’t have fondly views of each other.
- In 2017, Trump tweeted that congressman Lewis should “spend more time on fixing and helping his district…rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” calling him “all talk…no action or results” after Lewis said that he wouldn’t be attending Trump’s inauguration.
- Lewis told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he doesn’t see Trump as a “legitimate president” because of Russian interference in the 2016 election. “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” he told them a week before Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected and they have destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.” Lewis also refused to attend any other event Trump attended.
- Despite not visiting the capitol, Trump did honor Lewis on Twitter the day after his death and the White House lowered flags to half-staff. “Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero Lewis passing,” Trump tweeted. “Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family.” He posted this tweet after returning from a trip to his golf course.
John Lewis served 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives serving the 5th Congressional District of Georgia.