President-elect Donald Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and several Republicans attacked civil rights icon Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia for saying Trump is not a legitimate president (videos below).
Lewis, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., dropped the bombshell on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Jan. 15:
I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don't plan to attend the inauguration. It will be the first one that I'll miss since I've been in Congress. You cannot be at home with something that you feel is wrong.
A clip of Lewis' statement was leaked on Jan. 13, which spurred Trump to lash out on Twitter on Jan. 14, noted Mediaite.com:
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......
mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that some parts of Lewis' district, which includes Atlanta, do deal with poverty, but Lewis' district also boasts the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Emory University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Georgia Tech and the Coca-Cola headquarters.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence told "Fox News Sunday" how he was "deeply disappointed" in Lewis, and defended Trump's attack on the African-American lawmaker: "I think Donald Trump has the right to defend himself."
Tommy Hunter, a Republican member of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in Georgia, lashed out at Lewis on Facebook on Jan. 14 by calling him a "racist pig," notes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York attacked Lewis on Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, during an appearance on Fox Business:
My opinion is, what John Lewis is doing, he’s pouting. He lost. It’s like a spoiled child and we’ve seen it with the others. They can’t get over the fact that they lost. And what do spoiled little kids do? You know, they run around and throw a tantrum.
Trump's White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told Fox News on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that Lewis should not be questioning election results because Lewis fought for civil rights and voting rights.
Rep. John Lewis
Vice President-elect Mike Pence
Rep. Chris Collins