Rep. John Lewis (R) makes remarks as Sen. Cory Booker listens during Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, on Capitol Hill, January 11, in Washington, DC. Lewis said he does not consider President-elect Donald Trump a "legitimate president" and announced he will not attend his inauguration during an interview with NBC News. Trump responded to Lewis' comments on Twitter by criticizing his work in Georgia's 5th congressional district.
Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- United States Rep. John Lewis said he does not believe President-elect Donald Trump is a "legitimate president" and will not attend his inauguration.
Lewis, D-Ga., said it would be "very difficult" to forge a relationship with Trump and cited allegations of Russian hacking during the election as a reason for questioning his legitimacy during an interview with NBC News.
"I don't see this President-elect as a legitimate president," he said. "I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton."
He also said he will not attend Trump's inauguration, a first during his time as a Georgia Congressman and civil rights leader.
"I don't plan to attend the inauguration. It will be the first one that I miss since I've been in Congress," he said. "You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right."
Trump fired back at Lewis for his comments on Twitter Saturday morning by criticizing his work in Georgia's 5th congressional district.
"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," Trump wrote. "All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!"
Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., also plans to skip the inauguration in favor of remaining home in Arizona to meet with constituents, he told USA Today.
"My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy," he said. "An individual act, yes, of defiance at the disrespect shown to million and millions of Americans by this incoming administration and by the actions we're taking in this Congress."
Other lawmakers who have announced plans to skip the inauguration include Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.