Donald Trump Criticized for Twitter Attack on Civil Rights Leader John Lewis

Donald Trump and John Lewis
Donald Trump (left) and John Lewis Steve Pope/Getty Images; Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump attacked civil rights leader John Lewis on Twitter on Saturday, January 14, after the Georgia congressman announced he would not attend the former reality TV star's inauguration.

"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," the real estate mogul, 70, tweeted on Saturday morning, ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. "All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!"

Trump's controversial comments came a day after Lewis, 76, told NBC News that he planned to skip the January 20 inauguration for the first time in three decades. "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president," the Democratic representative said. "I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton."

"It will be the first [inauguration] that I miss since I've been in Congress," Lewis, who assumed office in January 1987, continued. "You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right."

The president-elect's response caused an uproar on Twitter as both Republicans and Democrats defended Lewis, who was brutally beaten by police in 1965 while marching with Dr. King at a peaceful civil-rights protest in Selma, Alabama.

"Ahead of #MLKday2017, let us remember that many have tried to silence @repjohnlewis over the years. All have failed," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

California Senator Kamala Harris added, "John Lewis is an icon of the Civil Rights Movement who is fearless in the pursuit of justice and equality. He deserves better than this."

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