Vice President-elect Mike Pence said he was “so disappointed” in Georgia Rep. John Lewis for boycotting Donald Trump’s inauguration and questioning the legitimacy of his election.
Pence told Fox News on Monday that he urged Lewis and the growing cadre of other House Democrats skipping Friday’s swearing-in ceremony to reconsider.
“I served with John Lewis and I disagree with him on many issues,” he told the news station. “But I respect the role he’s played in the civil rights movement and the voting rights movement. That’s why I was just so disappointed that he would make the statement that he made suggesting that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate president.”
Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to say Lewis was “all talk” and call his Atlanta-based district a “crime infested” area that is “falling apart,” a day after the Democrat told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he will skip Trump’s inauguration next week because he doesn’t see him as a “legitimate president.”
Pence and other Republicans have skirted Trump’s insult of the district – which spans much of the city of Atlanta and its inner suburbs – and focused on the Lewis comments that provoked the incoming president. He said Trump critics “ought to be standing together this coming Friday celebrating a peaceful transfer of power in this country.”
“For someone of John Lewis’ stature to lend credibility to the baseless assertions of those who question the legitimacy of this election is deeply disappointing,” he said. “I hope he reconsiders it.”