White House strikes back at John Lewis over civil rights museum

White House strikes back at John Lewis over civil rights museum
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The White House on Thursday hit back at Rep. John LewisJohn LewisGeorge Takei to publish graphic novel on his childhood in US internment camp So the Tea Party wants a tea party? Dem lawmakers join nationwide protests against Trump immigration policies MORE (D-Ga.) and a House colleague for their decisions to skip the opening of a Mississippi civil rights museum because of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump warns Iran's Rouhani: Threaten us 'and you will suffer' Pompeo: Iran's leaders resemble the mafia NYT's Haberman: Trump 'often tells the truth' MORE’s attendance.

“We think it’s unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the president in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

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She added that Trump “hopes others will join him in recognizing that the movement was about removing barriers and unifying Americans of all backgrounds.”

Lewis and Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Trump denies Russian meddling at presser with Putin | Republicans join in criticism of Trump | FCC chief rejects Sinclair-Tribune merger | Uber faces probe over gender discrimination | Social media execs headed to Capitol Overnight Health Care: Judge blocks Kentucky Medicaid work requirements | Trump officials consider cuts to ObamaCare outreach | House probes HHS office in charge of migrant children Top House Dems request broad investigations into Trump immigration policy MORE (D-Miss.) announced in a joint statement on Thursday that they would not attend the opening, saying Trump’s presence is an “insult” to the civil rights movement.

“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum,” the lawmakers said, citing Trump's “disparaging” comments about women, the disabled, immigrants and NFL players.

Lewis was a prominent leader during the civil rights movement of the 1960s and was badly beaten along with other activists by police during a famous march in Selma, Ala.