Political Spat Between Trump and Rep. John Lewis Turns Into Verbal Brawl

Political Spat Between Trump and Rep. John Lewis Turns Into Verbal Brawl

The civil rights icon's defiance of Donald Trump's election has turned into a dogfight that may continue into the President-elect's White House tenure.

by #teamEBONY, January 17, 2017

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Political Spat Between Trump and Rep. John Lewis Turns Into Verbal Brawl

Normally the countdown to the inauguration of a new president is filled with anticipation of what’s coming next, but this is no ordinary change of power.

What’s encircled it is the type of controversy that has followed President-elect Donald Trump through his campaign and could remain present throughout his Oval Office tenure. The prelude was of course the bitter press conference in which questions were asked about an unverified dossier that emerged in the media about Trump’s dealings in Russia, some of them compromising.



But what overshadowed that was Rep. John Lewis contending that because of mounting evidence that Russia interfered in the U.S. election through hacking. “I don’t see this President-elect as a legitimate president,” he told NBC News.

He also said that he would not be attending the inauguration on Friday. That opened a firestorm of political shade, side-eyes and outright insults between supporters of Lewis and supporters of Trump.

This all came as the nation went into the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, making the controversy a question of respect for Lewis who was a protege’ of King’s and who himself was seriously injured during the struggle for Civil Rights during the 60s.

Trump started the lambasting of Lewis with a tweet:

That opened the door to anger at Lewis from other members of Trump’s staff and the right in general, but without at all questioning what Trump said in his tweets. Vice president-elect Mike Pence told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that Lewis remarks are “deeply disappointing,” and defended Trump.

Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief-of-staff called Lewis’s comments “irresponsible,” emphasizing to ABC News “This Week” that Trump was the winner of the election. “I think putting the United States down across the world is not something a responsible person does.”

Rep. Yvette Clarke quickly jumped to Lewis’ side, making her position clear.

Lewis has not responded to all of the criticism’s he has been taking since making his remark about Trump’s legitimacy, but he did have defenders including fellow civil rights leader, former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, who spoke with the President-elect by phone while meeting with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

“John, is a very good man,” said Young. “He’s really a saint, but he’s kind of disillusioned right now.”

Despite Young attempting to smooth things over between the two men, on Tuesday, Trump brought up on Twitter that Lewis did not attend the inauguration of former President George W. Bush.

Lewis’ staff did acknowledge that he did not attend Bush’s inauguration citing the controversy over the 2000 election in which Bush defeated former Vice President Al Gore, although many felt Gore was the legitimate winner.

“His absence at that time was also a form of dissent,” spokeswoman Brenda Jones said. “He did not believe the outcome of that election, including the controversies around the results in Florida and the unprecedented intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court, reflected a free, fair and open democratic process.”

 





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