Critics seize on Sarah Sanders tweet saying MLK ‘gave his life’

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday sparked backlash on social media over her Martin Luther King Jr. Day message.

Sanders tweeted that the U.S. honors King, “a great American who gave his life to right the wrong of racial inequality.”

“Our country is better thanks to his inspiration and sacrifice,” she wrote.

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But Twitter users were quick to point out that King was assassinated and criticized Sanders for her use of the phrase ”gave his life.” James Earl Ray was convicted of assassinating King in 1968 in Memphis. 

"Apparently, MLK volunteered to be murdered,” wrote Cory Provost, a district leader for New York’s 58th Assembly District.

“Martin Luther King would have fought with every drop of blood in his body against you and your overlord,” wrote attorney and activist Rabia O’Chaudry.

The Hill has reached out to Sanders for comment.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a surprise visit to the memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring the slain civil rights leader. Reports said the visit, during which Trump and Vice President Pence laid a wreath, lasted less than two minutes.

-Updated 4:50 p.m.