Dem rips Trump's 'lip service' during Black History Month

Dem rips Trump's 'lip service' during Black History Month
© Greg Nash

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Wednesday accused President Trump of offering "lip service" to the black community during his speech honoring Black History Month.

Lee pointed to Trump's feuding last month with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who boycotted Trump's inauguration, and called on the president to work with the Congressional Black Caucus.


Lee also said that the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Wednesday vote to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general is at odds with Black History Month.

Several Democrats, including Lewis, testified at a committee hearing against Sessions earlier this month as Democrats and outside groups criticized the Trump nominee over past allegations of racism stemming from the 1980s, which Sessions has denied.

Trump earlier Wednesday used his speech before a group of African-American leaders at the White House to praise famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

“Frederick Douglass is an example of someone who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed,” he said.

“Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today,” Trump added, naming more civil rights icons. "Big impact.”

Douglass, who died in 1895, became a leader in the abolition movement after gaining his freedom as a slave. He ultimately solidified his legacy as an author, statesman and public speaker.

Civil rights groups have urged Democrats to reject Sessions, meanwhile, over alleged racially charged remarks he made that were unearthed during his failed confirmation for a federal judgeship in 1986. Sessions adamantly denied he had made the remarks about African-Americans.

“I do not harbor the kinds of animosities and race-based ideas I was accused of,” Sessions said when questioned by Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinF-35 fighter jets may fall behind adversaries, House committee warns Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Democrat rips Justice for not appearing at US gymnastics hearing MORE (D-Calif.).

Sessions’s confirmation is now headed to the Senate floor for a full vote, where it is likely assured given the 52-seat GOP majority.