Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis will not attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, charging that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate.
“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” the Georgia Democrat told NBC’s “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” in an interview to air this Sunday. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
Lewis was referring to the U.S. intelligence community conclusion that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems with the intention of helping Trump win the presidency.
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The inauguration, set for Friday Jan. 20, will be the first Lewis will miss since he came to Congress in 1986.
“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right,” Lewis said.
Lewis said it would be “very difficult” to forge a relationship with the incoming president.
“I believe in forgiveness,” Lewis said. “I believe in trying to work with people.”
Fellow House Democrats Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts and Barbara Lee of California also recently announced they would not attend Trump’s inauguration.