Washington, July 19
In the hours after the loss of life of American civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to retweet previous missives about Democratic rival Joe Biden and lash out at his former nationwide safety adviser and his niece for writing tell-all books about him.
Trump then headed to his golf course in northern Virginia with a political confidant, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for an almost four-hour outing.
Shortly after 2 pm, as Trump was coming back from his golf outing — and greater than 14 hours after Lewis’ loss of life was introduced — he supplied his and the primary girl’s condolences in a two-sentence Twitter message.
Saddened to listen to the information of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I ship our prayers to he and his household.
— Donald J. Trump (@actualDonaldTrump) July 18, 2020
“Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family,” Trump wrote.
By that time all 4 dwelling former U.S. presidents, Vice President Mike Pence and scores of lawmakers had publicly remarked on the passing of the lawmaker whose brutal beating on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, 50 years earlier marked a turning level within the civil rights motion.
Trump had battled publicly with Lewis, 80, the youngest and final dwelling member of the Big Six civil rights activists who organized the 1963 March on Washington.
Lewis, D-Ga., memorably tangled with Trump days earlier than the president’s inauguration in 2017. The congressman stated he didn’t see Trump as a “legitimate president,” prompting Trump to blast Lewis as “all talk” and denigrate his majority Black district as “crime infested” and “falling apart.” For the second time throughout his lengthy service in Congress, Lewis in 2017 skipped the swearing-in ceremony. He additionally skipped George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001 after his contentious victory over Al Gore.
In December of that yr, Lewis refused to talk on the opening of Mississippi civil rights and historical past museums as a result of Trump can be there. He stated the president’s “hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum.” Then, as this yr’s election battle heated up within the spring, Lewis threw his weight behind Biden and urged younger Black voters to assist be certain that the previous vice chairman wins in November.
He did not point out Trump by identify throughout his April endorsement, however made clear that he noticed Biden’s mission as an opportunity to “redeem the soul of America.” Rep. Karen Bass, the Democratic chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, wrote on Twitter that she hoped that Trump would keep silent about Lewis’ loss of life.
At that time, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had famous that Lewis “was an icon of the civil rights motion,” and Pence had issued a statement praising Lewis for his place in American history and noting that as colleagues in the House that “even when we differed, John was always unfailingly kind.” Bass wrote: “@actualDonaldTrump whereas the nation mourns the passing of a nationwide hero, please say nothing.
Please do not touch upon the lifetime of Congressman Lewis. Your press secretary launched an announcement, go away it at that.” The White House didn’t reply to a request for remark about Bass’ assertion.
The White House additionally issued a proclamation from the president ordering the decreasing of U.S. flags at federal buildings for Lewis’ loss of life. By regulation the flag is lowered the day after a sitting member of Congress passes.
In some methods, Trump’s perfunctory providing of condolences confirmed a measure of restraint in contrast with some previous episodes involving political opponents.
The president was not invited to attend Sen. John McCain’s funeral in 2018. Trump had stated earlier that he did not suppose McCain was a hero as a result of the senator was captured in Vietnam. McCain was tortured and held prisoner for greater than 5 years.
Trump appeared unable to overlook one in all McCain’s Senate votes specifically, the thumbs-down that sank the Republican effort in 2017 to repeal the Obama well being care regulation. Trump was livid, and it confirmed even after McCain’s loss of life.
The administration lowered the American flag over the White House to half-staff, however then raised it once more two days later. The flags have been lowered once more after a public outcry.
And Trump’s anti-McCain Twitter tirades continued lengthy after his loss of life from mind most cancers. The president additionally complained that he was by no means correctly thanked for McCain’s funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral.
Trump drew criticism late final yr for suggesting the late Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat, is perhaps “looking up” from hell throughout a rally in Dingell’s house state of Michigan.
The dig at Dingell, whose spouse, Rep. Debbie Dingell, succeeded him within the House, got here throughout Trump’s impeachment. Days earlier, Trump expressed anger that the congresswoman had supported his impeachment.
“The last time I spoke to Debbie Dingell was her call thanking me for granting top memorial and funeral service honors for her then just departed husband, long time Congressman John Dingell,” Trump tweeted.
“Now I watch her ripping me as part of the Democrats Impeachment Hoax. Really pathetic!” AP