MIAMI (WSVN) - Georgia Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, who questioned president-elect Donald Trump’s legitimacy as president over the weekend, spoke at a Martin Luther King Jr. event in Miami, Monday.
Congressman Lewis made an appearance at Jungle Island on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, just days after making comments against Trump.
The event, 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project, was presented for the youth of South Florida. At around noon, he wrapped up his speech, where he told the children in attendance about the importance of speaking up when they see something unjust.
“Stand up. Speak up,” said Lewis to the crowd. “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something and not be quiet.”
However, overshadowing his speech on the national holiday, Monday, was the feud he spewed over the weekend against president-elect Trump.
“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” said Lewis in a “Meet the Press” interview. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected and helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”
Trump fired back on Twitter, Saturday. He tweeted, “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!”
Lewis is now among the growing number of congressional democrats who are boycotting Trump’s inauguration after U.S. intelligence agencies claimed Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help Trump win.
Also in attendance, Monday, were Florida senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson.
“I hoped that the president-elect would have responded differently given everything that John Lewis means to our country,” commented Rubio as he stood at the podium, “but people make their own desisions.”
“I also don’t agree with his decision to not attend the inaugural, said Rubio, “but certainly it is his right.”
Despite the controversy, both senators made sure to thank congressman Lewis for the contributions he has made to our country and to the civil rights movement.
Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, said he agrees with the president-elect’s tweets. “I think Donald Trump has the right to defend himself,” he said in a FOX News interview.
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said in an ABC This Week interview, “We have been working with President Obama hand-in-glove, and I think that they, including the president, should step up and get his people in line and tell them to grow up and accept the fact that they lost the election.”
This also comes after Lewis, a 16-term congressman, testified against the president-elect’s choice of senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, attacking his record on assuring minorities have the right to vote.
At a Washington, D.C. demonstration advocating for equality, protesters rallied in the days leading up to the presidential inauguration. “You may switch presidents, but we just gon’ switch legs and keep on marching,” said the civil rights activist. “We won’t back down! We won’t be trumped!”
This back-and-forth gained plenty of momentum. The latest to join in was senator Bernie Sanders.
“Cory Booker and John Lewis are right about is to talk about the racist past of Donald Trump, said Sanders. “We all remember that Trump was one of the leaders of the ‘Birther Movement,’ trying to delegitimize the presidency of our first African-American president.”
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