Dem on Trump going to civil rights museum: He fans the 'flames of racial hatred'

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesUS Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots Lawmakers mount pressure on Trump to leave office Sunday shows - Capitol siege, Trump future dominate MORE (D-N.Y.) ripped President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE on Friday for his decision to attend the opening of a civil rights museum in Mississippi, saying he has never missed an opportunity to stir "racial hatred."

"You have the birther-in-chief, someone who has never missed an opportunity to fan the flames of racial hatred whenever he thinks it's to his personal, political or professional advantage," Jeffries told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."

"What in Donald Trump's history suggests that him showing up to the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is anything other than a political stunt and photo op?" the congressman continued.


Jeffries's comments come as Trump continues to face backlash for visiting the museum. 

Civil rights icon Rep. John LewisJohn LewisThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' Harris now 'the most influential woman' in American politics Georgia Democrat introduces bill to bar Trump from Capitol after term ends MORE (D-Ga.), who was scheduled to speak at the opening, announced that he wouldn't attend the event because of the president's presence. 

“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.

“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,” he said. 

Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? New coalition aims to combat growing wave of ransomware attacks Acting DHS chief Chad Wolf stepping down MORE (D-Miss.) also announced this week he would not be in attendance due to the president. 

“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum," Lewis and Thompson said in a joint statement.

White House spokesman Raj Shah told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Florida on Friday night for a campaign rally that Trump's remarks at the museum will emphasize unity.

"These types of events really should be about bringing the nation together, and he’s going to deliver remarks that reflect that," Shah said.

"The civil rights movement is an amazing movement about fighting intolerance, hatred and bigotry. He’s going to honor the leaders of that movement."

The spokesman added that "it’s a little unfortunate that a moment like this that could be used for unification and for bringing people together, some folks are choosing to play politics."