Trump refuses to acknowledge John Lewis' achievements and claims he's done 'more for Black Americans'

dchoi@businessinsider.com (David Choi)
·3 mins read
  • President Donald Trump, during an Axios interview, repeatedly stopped short of praising the late Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

  • "He chose not to come to my inauguration," Trump said. "He chose, I never met John Lewis, I don't believe."

  • "I find a lot of people impressive," Trump added. "I find many people not impressive, but no, he didn't come to my inauguration."

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

John Lewis
John Lewis

Members of the military with the casket of Rep. John Lewis for a memorial service at the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC, on July 27.

Michael A. McCoy/Reuters

Video: The rise and fall of Trump airlines

President Donald Trump repeatedly stopped short of praising the late Democratic Rep. John Lewis during a recent interview, instead boasting of his own credentials in serving the Black community.

Asked by the Axios reporter Jonathan Swan during an interview that aired Monday night about how history would remember Lewis, Trump replied: "I don't know. I really don't know."

"He chose not to come to my inauguration," Trump said. "He chose, I never met John Lewis, I don't believe."

Lewis, the civil-rights leader who spent decades representing Georgia's 5th Congressional District, died at 80 in July, seven months after he was found to have advanced pancreatic cancer. Lewis' accomplishments for the civil-rights movement, including marches with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., were widely praised by both Republicans and Democrats after his death.

Following Swan's initial question, the reporter pressed Trump for a clearer answer: "Do you find him impressive?"

Trump replied that he could not "say one way or the other" whether Lewis was impressive, adding that the Democrat did not come to his inauguration.

"I find a lot of people impressive," Trump said. "I find many people not impressive, but no, he didn't come to my inauguration."

"He didn't come to my State of the Union speeches, and that's OK," Trump added. "That's his right. And again, nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have. He should've 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 declined to attend President George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001. Bush delivered remarks at Lewis' funeral.

"You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong," Lewis told NBC News in 2017.

Trump did later acknowledge that Lewis "was a person that devoted a lot of energy and a lot of heart to civil rights" but added "there were many others, also."

Trump did not attend Lewis' memorial service, nor did he pay respects to the lawmaker, who laid in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Lewis' memorial ceremony included eulogies by the former US presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Expanded Coverage Module: black-lives-matter-module

Read the original article on Business Insider