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Rep. John Lewis cancels trip to civil rights museum, citing Trump's attendance

Tamar Hallerman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. John Lewis said he has canceled his plans to attend the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this weekend because he would have had to share a stage with President Donald Trump.

But the Georgia Democrat said Thursday afternoon that we would reconsider if Trump chooses not to attend the event.

"Right now we're not going," Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But there's a possibility that the head man may not show up, may cancel."

Lewis' comments came less than a day after he expressed doubts about whether he could "live with myself" if he appeared on the same program as his political nemesis at this weekend's ribbon-cutting of the museum in Jackson, Miss. The lawmaker said it was not appropriate for Trump to be invited given his response to white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Va., this summer.

"I think his presence would make a mockery of everything that people tried to do to redeem the soul of America and to make this country better," Lewis said Wednesday.

The NAACP has also called on Trump to skip the event.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the museum opening "should be something that brings the country together."

 

The two men have traded barbs for the better part of the year after Lewis, a high-profile Hillary Clinton supporter, said he didn't see Trump as a "legitimate president" in January. Trump then took to Twitter to call Lewis' Atlanta-based 5th Congressional District "crime infested" and "in horrible shape." Lewis later skipped Trump's inauguration and first congressional address in protest.

Lewis' House colleague Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., also announced Thursday he would not attend the museum's opening event.

(c)2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

Visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) at www.ajc.com

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