Trump blasts Rep. Lewis for saying his election not legitimate
President-election Donald Trump, in a Twitter outburst Saturday over Rep. John Lewis's comment that he does not see Trump as a legitimate president, said the Georgia congressman should spend more time trying to fix his "horrible" and "crime-infested" district than complaining about the election results.
Trump's tweet was posted at 7:50 a.m., hours after Lewis, the civil-rights icon who was badly beaten at the Selma bridge in 1965 during a voting rights march, said he would skip Trump's inauguration next week as an act of protest.
Lewis, D-Ga., told moderator Chuck Todd of NBC's Meet the Press in an interview set to air on Sunday that he does not see Trump as a "legitimate president."
"I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton," Lewis said. "I don't plan to attend the inauguration. It will be the first one that I miss since I've been in the Congress."
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 7:50 AM - 14 Jan 2017
Trump punched back with two tweets criticizing Lewis' representation of Georgia's 5th congressional district, which includes most of Atlanta.
He tweeted: "Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!"
In his interview, Lewis, who has been in Congress for 30 years, said next week will be the first time he has not attended a presidential inauguration since he first came to Congress.
Earlier Friday, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., also announced his plans to skip the inauguration during a speech on the House floor. “My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy," Grijalva said. "An individual act, yes, of defiance at the disrespect shown to million and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we’re taking in this Congress."
Grijalava said he’ll be home in Arizona meeting with constituents, including seniors, immigrants, environmental and climate change activists and health care providers.
“I’m doing that because if you look at the scenario that’s before us, Affordable Care Act, and then deregulation strategies down the road the group that I mentioned are the groups that are going to feel the first blunt of Trump trying to do something. So it's good to be in the community talking about these things on inauguration day," he told USA TODAY later Friday. "Knowing that this is the reality and me being at the inauguration when I think that my time ... is better spent being with the constituents who keep me if office and help me."
He said he wasn't questioning the peaceful transition of power, but rather respecting the people who weren't happy with the current situation.
"I’m not second-guessing, I’m not whining. What I’m saying is respect is a two-way street and I want to respect the constituents that feel left out right now," Grijalva said.
California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee told USA TODAY that while she would attend Trump's State of the Union in the future, she would not be at the inauguration. Lee said the inauguration is a celebratory event and “I cannot celebrate and applaud” Trump over the things he has said.
"I think it's important for some of us who are here to reflect the sentiments and voices of people who aren’t here," she said.
Lee said she would be organizing in some way, although she wasn't sure how yet.
Mic is keeping a running list of other lawmakers who said they won't be at the inauguration, including: Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.
Of course, President Obama will attend the ceremony. And Trump's Democratic challenger, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, said they’d come to Washington for the event, joining two fellow former presidents, Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Jimmy Carter.