White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany praised the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisPelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights The arc of the moral universe will bend toward justice—but only if we pull it Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown MORE (D-Ga.) as President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Laura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement MORE remains silent on Lewis’s death through Saturday morning.
“Rep. John Lewis was an icon of the civil rights movement, and he leaves an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten. We hold his family in our prayers, as we remember Rep. John Lewis’ incredible contributions to our country,” McEnany tweeted.
Rep. John Lewis was an icon of the civil rights movement, and he leaves an enduring legacy that will never be forgotten. We hold his family in our prayers, as we remember Rep. John Lewis’ incredible contributions to our country.— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) July 18, 2020
The homage comes amid silence from Trump over Lewis’s death, sparking criticism that the president is retaliating against a lawmaker with whom he clashed.
“It’s despicable that Trump and the White House have yet to make a statement on the passing of American hero, Rep. John Lewis,” tweeted The Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump GOP group.
It’s despicable that Trump and the White House have yet to make a statement on the passing of American hero, Rep. John Lewis.— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) July 18, 2020
Lewis, who died Friday night, carved his place in history with a lengthy career advocating for civil rights, from being beaten to within an inch of his life on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., on “Bloody Sunday” to serving 17 terms representing an Atlanta-area district in Congress.
Trump and Lewis had a contentious relationship since the time of Trump's election. Lewis accused Trump of not being a “legitimate president,” leading Trump to fire back that the Democrat should worry about his own "horrible" district instead.
“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 wrote in a series of tweets.
Lewis also drew Trump’s ire when he declined to attend his inauguration, which influenced other Democrats to do the same.
While Trump has refrained from mentioning Lewis’s death, instead going to his private golf course, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle paid homage to the former civil rights leader.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat GOP senator knocks Biden for 'spreading things that are untrue' in voting rights speech MORE (D-Calif.) called Lewis “a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation” and a legislator who was “fearless in his pursuit of a more perfect union,” while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats make voting rights push ahead of Senate consideration Hogan won't say if he will file to run for Senate by Feb. 22 deadline Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (R-Ky.) lauded him as a “pioneering civil rights leader who put his life on the line to fight racism, promote equal rights, and bring our nation into greater alignment with its founding principles.”