Trump Under Fire for Taking on Civil Rights Icon

The president-elect said Georgia congressman John Lewis is "all talk - no action" when it comes to fixing and helping his district with crime.
2:20 | 01/16/17

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Transcript for Trump Under Fire for Taking on Civil Rights Icon
President-elect trump in that war of words with civil rights leader John Lewis. ABC's Tom llamas is here with those details. Reporter: Good morning to you. So the president-elect was scheduled to visit the smithsonian museum of African-American history and culture but he's no longer going to D.C. And the decision coming amid a public battle with one of the most respected African-American leaders in congress. On this martin Luther king day, president-elect trump in the middle of an ugly fight with a civil rights icon over these comments. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they have destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Reporter: Trump lashing out at the Georgia congressman on Twitter saying Lewis should spent more time on fixing and helping his district which is in horrible shape and crime infested and Lewis is all talk, talk, talk, no action. That tweet storm causing an outpouring of bipartisan support for Lewis, a civil rights giant who still bears scars from being beaten in the March on Selma having fought for civil rights arm in arm alongside martin Luther king Jr. Republican senator Ben sasse tweeting John Lewis and his talk have changed the world. But with four days until he takes the oath of office, team trump backing the president-elect's response. I think Donald Trump has the right to defend himself for someone who use his stature to use terms like this is not a legitimate president, it's just -- it's just deeply disappointing to me and I hope he reconsiders it. Reporter: The incoming administration also calling for unity, but Lewis standing his ground saying he won't be attending trump's inauguration. We need folks like John Lewis and others who I think have been champions of voter rights actually recognize the fact that Donald Trump was duly elected. Reporter: Now, politifact rate's trump's description of his district as failing as mostly false considered one of the nation's fastest growing area, crime, while still higher than the national average is down, as well. We also want to mention, George, 27 members of congress are now boycotting the inauguration.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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