Rep. John Lewis: Trump isn't a 'legitimate president'
© Greg Nash

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) doesn't plan to attend President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE's inauguration next week, saying he doesn’t believe Trump is a "legitimate president."

"I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It will be hard. It's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis said in an interview for NBC News's "Meet the Press."

Lewis's remark came when asked if he would “forge a relationship” with the president-elect. When pressed on why he believes Trump’s presidency is illegitimate, Lewis pointed to intelligence reports of Russian interference in the election. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhy Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE,” Lewis said.

Trump acknowledged this week that Russia was responsible for some hacking during the campaign, though the president-elect and many on his team assert that it didn't affect the result of the presidential election.

Lewis also told NBC News that he wouldn’t attend the inauguration, making him the sixth House Democrat to publicly vow not to attend the Jan. 20 event.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) announced earlier Friday from the House floor that he plans to skip the event, joining Democratic Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.), Jared Huffman (Calif.), Katherine Clark (Mass.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.).

“I don't plan to attend the inauguration. It will be the first one that I miss since I’ve been in Congress,” Lewis said. “You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.”