Democratic Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) said in an interview that he does not consider President-elect Donald Trump to be a legitimate president.
In a preview clip of an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd set to air Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Lewis said his view on Trump’s presidency is attributed to Russian meddling in the presidential election, which he called a “conspiracy.”
When Todd asked Lewis if he planned to try work with Trump to pass legislation, Lewis said he believes in forgiveness but that Trump is not legitimate.
“It’s going to be very difficult,” Lewis said. “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”
Todd asked Lewis to explain his position.
“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they have destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said.
“I don’t plan to attend the inauguration,” Lewis continued. “It will be the first one that I miss since I’ve been in Congress. You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong.”
“I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others to help him get elected. That’s not right, that’s not fair, that’s not the open democratic process,” he added.
The U.S. intelligence community has found that the Russian government launched a covert operation that involved cyber attacks to influence the 2016 election and hurt Hillary Clinton, although there is no evidence that voting machines were hacked or that Moscow’s efforts changed the outcome of the election.
Manchin Rebukes John Lewis for Saying Trump Not Legitimate
Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) rebuked Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.) on Friday for saying that President-elect Donald Trump will not be a legitimate president.
CNN host Jake Tapper asked Manchin for his reaction to Lewis’ comments made to NBC’s Chuck Todd. Manchin disagreed with his fellow Democrat after praising Lewis and calling him a friend.
“There is no doubt the Russians were involved in hacking, they were responsible for the hacking,” Manchin said. “But there is no credible evidence showing that that intervened and had one iota to do with the outcome of the election.”
Manchin mentioned Trump’s overwhelming victory in his home state of West Virginia as an example of how the president-elect won before calling for national unity.
“Donald trump won West Virginia by over 42 percent,” Manchin said. “I can assure you the Russians had nothing to do with him winning by 42.”
“Now, with that being said, we’ve got to move on,” Manchin continued. “We’ve got to come together as a country.”