President-elect Donald Trump unleashed a Twitter attack on Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, after the lawmaker said he wouldn't attend Trump's inauguration because he doesn't see him as a "legitimate president."
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Lewis in an interview with NBC on Friday cited Russia's meddling in the election for his view on the legitimacy of the presidential election results, and his comments stoked controversy with Republicans and debate inside the Democratic Party.
"I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president," Lewis said.
Trump hit back, slamming Lewis today for "falsely complaining about the election," and called him "all talk, talk, talk -- no action or results!"
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017
mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017
Trump’s tweets spurred a backlash on social media, including by some who said Trump was dismissing Lewis' accomplishments in the struggle for civil rights on the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Lewis himself responded to Trump today in a DNC fundraising email in which he said, "I've been beaten bloody, tear-gassed, fighting for what's right for America. I've marched at Selma with Dr. King. Sometimes that's what it takes to move our country in the right direction."
Lewis is one of the last surviving central organizing figures of the U.S. civil rights movement and was beat by police in a march for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
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. https://t.co/WX1QDCKfzP— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 14, 2017
Lewis has represented his district since 1986, and it includes some of the more affluent areas around Atlanta. It is home to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several Fortune 500 companies, and well-known universities and colleges including Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.