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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 LewisThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Trump, Pence fan out to protect the Rust Belt Atlanta mayor signs bill to change Confederate street names Under attack: Because we don’t vote Republican 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 renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing 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: Russia-linked hackers hit Eastern European companies | Twitter shares data on influence campaigns | Dems blast Trump over China interference claims | Saudi crisis tests Silicon Valley | Apple to let customers download their data Dems blast Trump for 'conflating' Chinese, Russian election interference claims Dems eye ambitious agenda if House flips 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.