Trump downplays John Lewis’ legacy: “He didn’t come to my inauguration”

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President Trump dismissed the legacy of civil rights icon John Lewis in a wide-ranging interview with Axios that aired Monday. When asked by journalist Jonathan Swan to comment on Lewis, Mr. Trump seemed reluctant to acknowledge the former congressman’s accomplishments and noted that Lewis didn’t come to his inauguration. 

After a week of memorial services honoring of the longtime civil rights leader, Swan asked the president, who said he did not know Lewis personally, if he found his story “impressive.” 

“I can’t say one way or the another,” Mr. Trump replied. “I find a lot of people are impressive. I find many people not impressive.”

“He didn’t come to my inauguration, he didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches,” he added. “And that’s okay, that’s his right.  Again, nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have. He should have come. I think he made a big mistake.” 

After a follow-up question on Lewis’ legacy, Mr. Trump said Lewis was a “person that devoted a lot of energy and a lot of heart to civil rights, but there were many others also.”  

Lewis was beaten by Alabama state troopers on Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma during the march to Montgomery on March 7, 1965, a day that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” Now, there’s a petition to rename the bridge after Lewis. Mr. Trump said he would not be against it.  

“I would have no objection to it,” he said. “I would have no objection to it whatsoever.”

The comments come as Mr. Trump claimed Monday that the coronavirus is “receding” in the U.S., as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in many states. 



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