- President Donald Trump, in an interview with Axios, paused several times before describing the late Democrat John Lewis of Georgia as an impressive individual.
- “He chose not to come to my nomination,” Trump said of Lewis. “He chose, I never met John Lewis, I don’t think so. “
- “I find a lot of impressive people,” added Trump. “I find a lot of people not that impressive, but no, he didn’t come to my nomination.
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President Donald Trump has stopped several times before describing the late Democratic Representative John Lewis of Georgia as an impressive individual, and instead bragged about his own credentials when it comes to the African American community, during an Axios interview aired on Monday.
Asked by Axios reporter Jonathan Swan about how history would remember Lewis, Trump replied, “I don’t know. I really do not know. ”
“He chose not to come to my nomination,” Trump said. “He chose, I never met John Lewis, I don’t think so. ”
Lewis, Georgia’s longtime lawmaker and civil rights leader, died at age 80 in July, seven months after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Lewis’s achievements for the civil rights movement, which include marches with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have been widely praised by Republicans and Democrats.
Following Swan’s initial question, the reporter urged Trump for a clearer answer: “Do you find him impressive? ”
Trump replied that he couldn’t “somehow tell” if Lewis was impressive, adding that the Democrat had not come to his nomination.
“I find a lot of impressive people,” Trump said. “I find a lot of people not that impressive, but no, he didn’t come to my nomination.
“He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches, and that’s fine,” Trump added. “It’s his right. And again, no one has done more for black Americans than me. He should have come. I think he made a big mistake. ”
Lewis was one of dozens of Democratic lawmakers who refused to attend Trump’s inauguration in 2017. Lewis also refused to attend President George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001. Bush delivered remarks at Lewis’s funeral.
“You can’t be home with something that you think is wrong,” Lewis told NBC News in 2017.
Trump later admitted that Lewis “was a person who devoted a lot of energy and a lot of heart to civil rights”, but added: “there were many others as well”.
President Trump did not attend Lewis’ memorial service, nor did he pay tribute to the late lawmaker, who filed in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Lewis’ memorial service included praise from Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.