White House strikes back at John Lewis over civil rights museum

White House strikes back at John Lewis over civil rights museum
© Getty Images

The White House on Thursday hit back at Rep. John LewisJohn LewisJohn Lewis says he may not attend Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opening if Trump is there The nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment Live coverage: Day three of the Ways and Means GOP tax bill markup 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 TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 ThompsonThe nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment Homeland Security Dem: Trump retweets make security jobs harder Conyers saga brings Dem tensions to a boil 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.