Trump rips ‘all talk,’ ‘no action’ civil rights icon John Lewis

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump harshly responded to civil rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Saturday, calling him “all talk” and “no action” after Lewis said Trump was not a “legitimate” president.

“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,” Trump tweeted Saturday, which happened to fall on the weekend of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.

Trump later doubled down on his criticism — though he did not take aim at Lewis’ district — tweeting Saturday night: “Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!”

Lewis — an ally of King who was brutally beaten by police in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 while marching for civil rights — represents a Georgia district that includes most of Atlanta. On the campaign trail, Trump regularly decried crime in urban areas while pledging to revitalize neighborhoods primarily populated by black Americans.

A Hillary Clinton supporter, Lewis criticized Trump’s ascension to head of state due to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

“I don’t see this President-elect as a legitimate president,” the long-serving Democrat told NBC News’ Chuck Todd in a clip released Friday.

It was an astonishing rebuke by a sitting member of Congress toward an incoming President. Trump, however, largely launched his political career by calling into question the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s presidency by repeatedly suggesting he wasn’t born in the United States.

Cornell William Brooks, the president of the NAACP, said Trump’s remarks were disrespectful and called on him to apologize.

“By disrespecting @repjohnlewis, @realDonaldTrump dishonored Lewis’ sacrifice & demeaned Americans & the rights, he nearly died 4. Apologize,” Brooks tweeted, including an image of a bloodied Lewis taken during the Civil Rights Era.

Donna Brazile, the interim head of the Democratic National Committee, denounced Trump’s remarks and said at a DNC gathering in Phoenix that Lewis “took action.”

“He took action from marching from Selma to Montgomery. He took action in marching toward men wielding clubs across the Pettus Bridge. They fractured his skull because of the color of his skin. But John Lewis never stopped marching for justice and equality for all people,” she said.

Meanwhile, Democratic members of Congress, highlighting Lewis’ contributions to the civil rights movement, swiftly condemned Trump.

“Ahead of #MLKday2017, let us remember that many have tried to silence @repjohnlewis over the years. All have failed,” tweeted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

California Sen. Kamala Harris said Lewis doesn’t deserve to be attacked by Trump.

“John Lewis is an icon of the Civil Rights Movement who is fearless in the pursuit of justice and equality. He deserves better than this,” she tweeted.

Rep. Keith Ellison, who is vying to become the Democratic National Committee chairman, said Trump has “no clue” who Lewis is.

“.@repjohnlewis knows true sacrifice. @realDonaldTrump has no clue. When cluelessness collides with power oppression results. Resistance,” the Minnesota lawmaker said.

And Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a frequent Trump critic, praised Lewis, “John Lewis and his ‘talk’ have changed the world.”

Republican Congressman Justin Amash also chimed in with advice for the President-elect, writing on Twitter: “Dude, just stop.”

By Saturday evening, Lewis was fundraising off Trump’s comments.

“Today, Donald Trump attacked me on Twitter. He said that I’m ‘all talk’ and ‘no action,’ ” Lewis wrote. “I’ve been beaten bloody, tear-gassed, fighting for what’s right for America. I’ve marched at Selma with Dr. King. Sometimes that’s what it takes to move our country in the right direction.”

He continued: “Some leaders reject decades of progress and want to return to the dark past, when the power of law was used to deny the freedoms protected by the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and its Amendments.

“I remember when segregation was the law of the land that ordered our society in the Deep South. The forces of law and order in Alabama were so strong that to take a stand against this injustice, we had to be willing to sacrifice our lives for our cause.

“It took massive, well-organized, non-violent dissent and criticism of this great nation and its laws to move toward a greater sense of equality in America.”

Democrats skipping inauguration

Lewis is one of an increasing number of Democratic lawmakers who are boycotting Trump’s inauguration after learning more about Russia’s role in the 2016 election. Intelligence agencies have said Russia hacked Democratic groups with the intent of hurting Clinton’s campaign and aiding Trump’s. The President-elect has repeatedly expressed skepticism at the conclusions.

“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong,” Lewis told NBC News.

California Rep. Barbara Lee said earlier this week she will spend the day organizing.

“Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance,” she said Thursday in a statement.

Reps. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Jared Huffman of California and Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, are also boycotting the historic event.

“I cannot go to (the) inauguration of a man who’s going to appoint people to the Supreme Court and turn back the clock on women and turn back the clock on immigrants and the safety and freedom that we fought for them,” Gutierrez said last month on CNN’s “New Day.”

34 comments

  • WarningFakeNews

    Huh, a story from CNN on which 95% of their focus is on what the democrats are saying and doing in response to a tweet. They’ve earned the nickname “Clinton News Network” ever since the Clintons ran for national office, way back when. Trump is right, “You are fake news!” CNN. Only 16% of Americans trust the media, probably less than that trust CNN. WNEP still seems to like them, though.

  • McCracken

    Keep blaming politicians for all the problems in your life. Maybe take some personal accountability for your life choices?

    • Dan

      And the first Black President set the stage for the reason you did not get the first woman president. My benefits for example went up 52% because of Obama Care. Not to fair from my angle.

    • CEEME

      Because of racists and because of black people wanting to see a “brother” in the White House. Also, stupid liberals who get wrapped up in warm and fuzzy rhetoric and ignore actual facts and actions. Not unlike those who made Hillary Clinton the presidential candidate.

  • Paul Schroeder

    So these WHINEY Democrat liberals are still at it… Boycott the inauguration… He is STILL going to be the President.. and this “MAN” who was arrested over 45 times for DEFYING THE LAW is a representative … but of course he feels he is above the law. Stay home, read a book and enjoy your day. Just a FINE example how people, even after being told that the hacking had NO effect on the outcome, not that it matters to the cry babies, act when they dont get their way. Maybe he should get a “participation” award… might make him feel better…

  • lookback

    Putin’s selected President is simply following in the footsteps of those from days gone by, Benedict Arnold would be proud. Of course anyone not goosestepping to their cult leader’s dictates and standing all wide eyed in admiration of their dear father figure must be denigrated, just read all these racist comments, should be titled pajama town speaks (barely).

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    Lewis fires at Trump saying he’s an “illegitimate president” and won’t attend the Inauguration and Trump fires back. Imagine that. I love it!

    • Givemeabreak

      What is there to love about any of this? This back and forth between Trump and Lewis has accomplished nothing but put more division between the two races. Our leaders are supposed to act like adults.

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        You mean back and forth between Lewis and Trump, don’t you? Lewis took the first shot and Trump responded. (I see this one coming – Obama created all of the racial division already and Trump is going to get the blame.) I love the fact that Trump fires back.

      • Givemeabreak

        How does firing back advance a discussion. Next time you disagree with your significant other I want you to fire back and see how that works out for you. This is not a reality TV show. Improving our country requires compromise and discussion not cheap shots. What is going to happen when Obama is gone? Who will you blame? Racial tension was an issue before Obama and it will be one long after he is gone.

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        Since I can’t reply below. I’ll reply here. How about if we meet somewhere and I give you a backhand you’ll never forget, hypothetically speaking of course. Will you just walk away? What’s the problem with that according to your logic?

      • Givemeabreak

        Lol. I would just laugh you off because it would be beneath me to act in the same manner. I grew up a long time ago.

      • Givemeabreak

        Real men can control their emotions. Little boy’s name call and posture because they are scared and insecure.

  • Lincoln

    The black community should take this to heart and understand they’ll never advance as long as there are career oriented politicians like Lewis in office who does nothing but push them further and further back in to racial inequality

  • Gom

    Why don’t the b l a c k s remember that it was the democrats who owned slaves and used them to gain power? Oh wait , they still do!

    • Givemeabreak

      How is it that everything is Trump bashing by WNEP? They are reporting quotes from the President and Democrats. The only statement that even resembles an opinion by WNEP is, “It was an astonishing rebuke by a sitting member of Congress toward an incoming President”. some people may disagree and say it wasn’t astonishing. Everything else is just reporting facts.

  • Benjamin T.

    at one time Lewis was a civil rights leader. Now, Lewis plays the role of the never ending victim, agitator, and uses his race to give him the freedom to say anything and often blowhis cool while serving on congressional panels. Yes, we all know that Lewis stood with MLK. But would MLK stand next to Lewis today ? I doubt it. What a waste of an opportunity.

  • Common Sense

    More Trump bashing……Give it up already, WNEP. He’s your President…….
    That black guy is a known trouble maker.

  • Zilla

    Pander to “Caught in the act liars” much? Numerous witnesses were there when HRC berated Donna Brazile and called her “A Dumb Water Buffalo”. Staff members quit after that. And John Lewis’ track record? Don’t get me started on why you deleted the article about another failing policy that will only generate more crime and put good citizens at risk. He did the same thing, same process, and if you look at the stats of his district? Ouch, if that is what you want for the rest of us. Crime and poverty has a faster way of spreading than can be contained if there is money to be made on the left. Proven track record there. As far as his “brutal beating”? It was based on testimony he supposedly gave with a fractured skull in 1965… A couple days later. Any medical professionals want to chime in on the impossibilities of that? It’s already been debunked like Shaun King’s story of being the victim of a “Hate Crime” when he is actually a white guy that pretends he is black and made the story up so he could make millions of dollars. I’m NOT making this up. Mental disorders need to be diagnosed. Search any of this if you don’t believe me, because it is complex in it’s concertion.

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