Lawmakers took to social media on Saturday to defend Rep. John Lewis's (D-Ga.) legacy after President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump stands to win big on tax reform, but a trade war with Canada could change everything Tillerson on North Korea: 'Our goal is not regime change' WATCH LIVE: Trump speaks at NRA forum MORE launched an early-morning Twitter attack on the civil rights leader.
Pushing back against Trump’s criticism that Lewis is “all talk” and “no action or results,” Democrats and one Republican recalled Lewis’s role in the civil rights movement and painted him as a tooth-and-nail defender of justice.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized Trump’s efforts “to silence” Lewis, while House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) defended Lewis and the House Democrats' official Twitter account pledged to stand with Lewis.
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) joined a number of Democratic senators in lauding Lewis.
Sasse said Lewis's "talk" changed the world, while other Democrats called him a hero" and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said he "deserves better than this."
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. https://t.co/WX1QDCKfzP— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 14, 2017
Ron WydenRon WydenWhat killing net neutrality means for the internet Overnight Tech: Net neutrality fight descends into trench warfare | Zuckerberg visits Ford factory | Verizon shines light on cyber espionage Franken, top Dems blast FCC over net neutrality proposal MORE (@RonWyden) January 14, 2017
As we honor MLK, I'll always stand by my friend, American hero @repjohnlewis. We'll lock arms & resist any effort to roll back civil rights.— Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerSchumer: Senate Dems will back stopgap funding bill Reagan's 'voodoo economics' are precisely what America needs When political opportunity knocked, Jason Chaffetz never failed to cash in MORE (@SenSchumer) January 14, 2017
Mazie HironoMazie HironoDem lawmaker to Sessions: 'You are a racist and a liar' March for Science rallies draw huge crowds around US Dems knock Trump on Earth Day MORE (@maziehirono) January 14, 2017
Trump’s attacks on Lewis came a day after Lewis said that Trump wasn’t a “legitimate president."
Lewis is widely seen as an icon among Democrats, and some lawmakers saw Trump’s comments as a direct attack on his legacy as a civil rights activist and as a politician.
Lewis was a key civil rights leader in the 1960s as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was frequently arrested and beaten by police officers at protests, including “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Ala., in 1965.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a top contender to head the Democratic National Committee, blasted Trump, saying the real estate mogul “has no clue” about sacrifice.
Other House Democrats called Lewis a "hero" and "icon," with one calling Trump's reaction "repulsive" and another saying the president-elect isn't fit to polish Lewis's boots.
.@repjohnlewis is a hero who has given his life to equal rights. He's been locked up, beaten up, spit on and still never lost his fight— Gerry ConnollyGerry ConnollyUber’s problems multiply in Washington Budget woes hinder US cybersecurity buildup Our IT system is dying: Here’s how President Trump can save it MORE (@GerryConnolly) January 14, 2017
Trump's tweets are repulsive— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) January 14, 2017
Here's a tip: Instead of attacking civil rights icons like John Lewis, reach out to all the Americans feeling threatened by your presidency. https://t.co/BjRfOAUIgX— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) January 14, 2017
John Lewis is an American hero.— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) January 14, 2017
You're a fake billionaire who won't release his taxes.
Put down Twitter and get serious about governing. https://t.co/LIvpXhX2wX
Is this really happening? The incoming President is attacking an American civil rights icon during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend?— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) January 14, 2017
My good friend @repjohnlewis has dedicated his life to fighting for freedom & equality in his district & across this nation. (1/3)— John Conyers, Jr. (@RepJohnConyers) January 14, 2017
Very concerned that Trump would spend time attacking John Lewis instead of preparing to start his Presidency. (2/3)— John Conyers, Jr. (@RepJohnConyers) January 14, 2017
Agree with VP Biden that it's time for Trump to grow up. Being POTUS is a serious matter - not child's play. I stand w/ @repjohnlewis (3/3)— John Conyers, Jr. (@RepJohnConyers) January 14, 2017
Stones and batons couldn't stop @RepJohnLewis's fight for justice. Petty tweets certainly won't.— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) January 14, 2017
- Updated at 12:45 p.m.