Trump attacks Rep. John Lewis for saying his election is not legitimate

Posted at 10:56 AM, Jan 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-14 17:32:01-05

President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday to attack Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) after the civil rights icon and leading Democrat said he doesn't see the "president-elect as a legitimate president."

In an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd for Sunday's episode of "Meet the Press," Lewis said Russia's alleged hacking meant to help Trump clinch the presidency makes Trump an illegitimate president.

When asked how he planned to work with Trump, Lewis told Todd it would be a struggle.

"It's going to be very difficult," Lewis said. "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president. I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. That's not right. That's not fair. That's not the open democratic process."

Lewis called the alleged Russian hacking and attempts to undermine Clinton's campaign a "conspiracy."

In response to Lewis' questioning of Trump's legitimacy as president-elect, Trump fired off two tweets, calling Lewis "all talk... no action or results. Sad!" and characterizing Lewis' Georgia district, which includes most of the city of Atlanta, as being "in horrible shape and falling apart."

U.S. intelligence officials have confirmed Russian interference and hacking during the 2016 election in an attempt to help Trump win, but there's no way to know whether the hacking decisively gave Trump an advantage.

Lewis testified against Trump's attorney general pick Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and said he would not attend Trump's inauguration, a first in his decades-long career on Capitol Hill.

Lewis was a major figure during the Civil Rights movement. He was one of the original Freedom Riders and helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington. He served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Lewis was severely beaten during a march in Selma, Alabama in 1965 after leading fellow activists across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.