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 LewisLiberals surprised by tax vote vow to kill 'Free File' provision House passes bill to modernize IRS The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump looks to get tougher on border with Nielsen out 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 calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone 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 ThompsonDe Blasio vows to take Trump to court over sanctuary city proposal The Hill's Morning Report - Waiting on Mueller: Answers come on Thursday Dems rally behind Omar as Trump escalates attacks 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.