Jul 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he will not pay respects at ceremony for John Lewis

Trump walks while wearing a suit and tie outside
President Trump walks towards members of the press outside the White House on July 27. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Monday that he would not be visiting the Capitol Rotunda to pay his respects to the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, but did not offer an explanation for why.

Why it matters: Lewis, one of the organizers and speakers for the historic 1963 March on Washington, is the first Black lawmaker to lie in state at the Rotunda.

Between the lines: Lewis was a prominent critic of the president and boycotted his inauguration after questioning whether Trump's election was legitimate.

  • Trump tweeted at the time: "Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!"
  • Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to attend the Rotunda to pay his respects, as is presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were also scheduled to give speeches at the ceremony.

Go deeper: Trump orders flags to half-staff in honor of John Lewis after hours of silence

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