Posted: 8:50 am Saturday, January 14th, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
Hours after Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) announced that he would boycott the January 20 swearing-in of President-Elect Donald Trump, Mr. Trump took to Twitter to denounce the veteran Democratic lawmaker and civil rights leader, telling him to deal with his “crime infested” district in Atlanta.
“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart,” Trump wrote in pair of Saturday morning tweets.
Coming just two days before the federal holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mr. Trump’s tweets set off a stir on social media.
It's telling, I'm afraid, that Donald Trump treats Vladimir Putin with more respect than he does John Lewis.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 14, 2017
John Lewis did more to make America great in one day on the Edmund Pettus Bridge than Donald Trump ever will. pic.twitter.com/C0o3HQV5xp
— howard wolfson (@howiewolf) January 14, 2017
While you avoided the draft, John Lewis risked his life for equality in America. You'll never even dream of such selfless patriotism, Donald https://t.co/gTWwfzkwkH
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) January 14, 2017
— *)))Scott.S(((* (@Q_Element) January 14, 2017
@repjohnlewis you are delusional and we will be helping you get replaced by aCongressman with some sense. Trump is legitimate you ass.
— Rebecca Saunders (@gecko64021) January 14, 2017
In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Lewis said he would not go to next Friday’s Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, as he said Mr. Trump was not a “legitimate President.”
“I don’t plan to attend to the Inauguration,” Lewis said, who said he thought there “was a conspiracy on the part of Russia and others” to get Trump elected.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 13, 2017
Some other Democrats have already said they will boycott the Trump inaugural, but others said they felt it was their duty to be there; Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) told reporters just off the House floor that he will be at the inaugural.
One Republican Senator urged Lewis to reconsider his decision to boycott the Inauguration.
To John Lewis, one of my heroes:
Please come to the Inauguration. It isn't about a man. It is a celebration of peaceful transfer of power.
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) January 14, 2017
Some others weren’t so sure of their next move.
“I haven’t made up my mind,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), “but I do have my plane reservations.”
“I’m leaning towards attending; it’s to show my gratitude to the Obamas and the Bidens as they transfer power, and also to recognize the peaceful transfer over power,” Johnson told me.
But Johnson made clear that he is wrestling with the right decision, clearly aggravated by some of the things that Mr. Trump has said.
And this Trump jab at Johnson’s colleague from Georgia may figure into that calculus as well.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.