Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said it is “disappointing” that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said he does not view President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE as a “legitimate president."
“I think what’s disappointing is someone like John Lewis, who is such an icon of voting rights and civil rights, to make a comment about the legitimacy of an election, something that he’s fought so hard to create the integrity of, to talk about delegitimizing an election,” Spicer told “Fox & Friends.”
Spicer’s comments follow a weekend during which the president-elect slammed Lewis, calling him "all talk" and "no action," after the Georgia Democrat said on Friday that he did not view Trump as a "legitimate president."
“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!” Trump said in several tweets, sparking outrage among lawmakers.
Spicer on Monday made a similar comment on Lewis’s statement, arguing on CBS “This Morning” that Trump has the right to defend himself against Lewis’s attack.
“When someone of John Lewis’s stature goes out and attacks the legitimacy of an election and his legitimacy as president there is a sense that when someone of that huge stature and iconic nature attacks him, the president-elect has a right, as he has done over and over again, of fighting back and making sure that he shows that he’s not going to sit back and just take attacks without responding,” said Spicer.