In an interview with Axios at the beginning of the week, President Donald Trump shot down praises of deceased civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis, saying the congressman should have attended his inauguration in 2017.
Trump was asked how Lewis would be viewed by posterity but the president seemed like a man who had not forgiven the former congressman for opposing his presidency.
“I don’t know [how history will treat Lewis]. I really don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration,” Trump said.
The president continued: “I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive. He didn’t come — he didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my state of the union speeches. And that’s OK. That’s his right. He should’ve come. I think he made a big mistake.”
Trump has refused to pay homage to Lewis who was laid to final rest last week. This is in line with the president’s grudges against his detractors even in their deaths with former Arizona senator John McCain being one of them.
While he was alive, Lewis was a fierce critic of Trump whom Lewis said was not a “legitimate president” because of the allegations of help then-Republican candidate Trump received from Russia prior to the 2016 election.
Trump also described Lewis as an “all talk and no action” congressman.
Lewis passed away on June 17 at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer although it has not been confirmed if he died of complications.
Lewis represented Georgia’s 5th district which covered much of Atlanta. He came to national prominence in the 1960s as part of the campaign to push equal rights for America’s Black people.
Lewis was the last surviving member of the “Big Six” African-American civil rights activists along with Martin Luther King Jr, James Farmer, Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins and Asa Philip Randolph.