By John Wagner
The Washington Post
President-elect Donald Trump continued to spar Tuesday with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., saying in a television interview that the civil rights icon had been “caught in a very bad lie” when talking about his rationale for skipping Trump’s inauguration.
Lewis told NBC’s Chuck Todd in an interview for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” that he believed Russia’s alleged hacking aimed at helping Trump in the 2016 presidential race made Trump an “illegitimate” president .
Lewis added that he wouldn’t attend Trump’s inauguration on Friday, a decision he told Todd was unprecedented in his 30-year congressional career.
Reports later surfaced that Lewis had also skipped President George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001, a move that a spokeswoman said Tuesday was also meant as a “form of dissent,” given the intervention in the 2000 presidential race by the U.S. Supreme Court.
During a taping Tuesday for a segment on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,” Trump laid into Lewis.
“He conveniently doesn’t remember. How do you forget if you go to an inauguration?” Trump said during the interview with Ainsley Earhardt, which is scheduled to air in full on Wednesday morning. ” You don’t forget something like that. So, he got caught, and it’s pretty bad, and it’s making him look bad, frankly… . I think he just grandstanded, John Lewis, and then he got caught in a very bad lie.”
The president-elect’s comments echoed posts on Twitter earlier in the day, in which he said Lewis’s initial claim that this would be his first skipped inauguration was ” WRONG (or lie).”
Tuesday’s comments represented Trump’s second line of attack on Lewis.
After NBC first reported Lewis’s remarks over the weekend, Trump took to Twitter, saying: ” Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart.”
Trump also said Lewis is “all talk, talk, talk – no action or results.”
Besides Lewis, nearly 60 other House Democrats have now said they will boycott Trump’s inauguration, with the number sharply increasing in the wake of Lewis’s decision.
Trump told Fox News that he isn’t worried about the no-shows but hopes the members of Congress not attending will turn the tickets back into him so that there is more room for his supporters.