John Lewis: Trump cites late congressman’s decision not to attend inauguration to downplay civil rights icon’s legacy

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” I do not know. I really do not know. I do not know. I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my nomination, ”Trump said in an interview with Axios that aired Monday when asked. how he thought history would remember Lewis, adding that he probably had never met the late Congressman.

“I can’t say one way or the other,” Trump said when asked if he thought Lewis was impressive.

“I find a lot of impressive people. I find a lot of people unimpressive, ”he continued. “He didn’t come – he didn’t come to my nomination. It did not come to my state union speeches. And that’s OK. It is his right. ”

“He should have come. I think he made a big mistake, ”he said.

Trump’s willingness to hold a grudge against what he perceives to be personal slights – even against those who have passed away, like Senator John McCain – has been a mark of his public image for decades, albeit as president , it was remarkable that he wouldn’t praise Lewis, who at the time of his death last month was widely recognized as a hero of the civil rights movement.

News of his death was greeted with widespread mourning and praise for his accomplishments, and he was put on trial at the U.S. Capitol. Trump declined to pay tribute to Lewis.

The Georgia Democrat sharply criticized Trump, claiming before his inauguration that he was not a “legitimate president”, prompting Trump to call the congressman “talk all” and “no action.” Lewis, however, would also not have attended George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001, and that did not deter the 43rd President from honoring Lewis at his funeral.

Pressed to find out if he found Lewis’ personal story impressive and what he did for the country, Trump said in the Axios interview: “He was a person who put in a lot of energy and a lot. heart to civil rights, but there were many others as well. ”

Trump offered his support to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama – where Lewis and other marchers were brutally attacked by police during a march for the right to vote in 1965, an incident known as from “Bloody Sunday” – after Congressman.

“I would have no objection if they wanted to do it, I would have no objection,” said the president.

He also reiterated that he had done more for black Americans “with the possible exception” of Abraham Lincoln, citing unemployment statistics before the pandemic and executive action taken on historically black colleges and universities. But his race record – among other things, he has repeatedly sought to undermine the legitimacy of the country’s first black president, Barack Obama, by pushing the racist conspiracy theory that he was not born in the United States. , largely refused to answer. the grief and rage expressed over the death of George Floyd, privately referred to some African countries as “shitty countries” and the protests castigated by black NFL players during the national anthem – have often stirred up tensions A January Washington Post-Ipsos poll found that more than eight in 10 black Americans believe Trump is racist.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Tuesday she was “disgusted” by Trump’s comments about Lewis.

“He’s a narcissist and he’s delusional. The only person who believes that is him, ”Bottoms, a Democrat, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on“ New Day ”. “He hasn’t done anything for African Americans in this country, and to say that in the same sentence as talking about John Lewis is almost blasphemous. “

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