Rep. John LewisJohn LewisPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Schumer opted for modest rules reform after pushback from moderates MORE (D-Ga.) said Wednesday he is reconsidering whether to attend this weekend’s opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum after the White House announced President Trump will be there.
“It’s going to be very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with him," Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Lewis was scheduled to speak at the museum opening on Saturday in Jackson, Miss. However, he told the newspaper that Trump's attendance would be inappropriate, citing his response to an August white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in which Trump said there was blame on "both sides" for violence that ensued.
“I think his presence would make a mockery of everything that people tried to do to redeem the soul of America and to make this country better,” Lewis said.
Lewis has been a frequent critic of Trump and drew the president’s ire in January, before Trump officially took office, after saying he didn't consider him to be a “legitimate president."
Trump said on Twitter that the congressman should “spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).”
Lewis on Wednesday was one of 58 House Democrats who voted in favor of beginning impeachment proceedings against Trump. The measure overwhelmingly failed in the GOP-lead House.
Lewis was a key civil rights leader in the 1960s as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Since 1987, he has represented Georgia’s 5th District, which is predominantly black and includes much of Atlanta and some surrounding suburbs.
The NAACP on Tuesday announced opposition to Trump attending the museum opening, saying he has created a “racially hostile climate.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday it was "very sad" that anyone might object to his presence.