Donald Trump’s aides are “frustrated” with the President’s decision not to pay his respects to the late Congressman John Lewis.
The civil rights leader passed away last week. His body lay in state on the United States Capitol on Monday, and politicians, from alleged Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife to Vice President Mike Pence, visited to pay their respects.
When asked if he planned to visit the body of the civil rights leader, Trump told reporters that it was not.
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According to Johnathn Lemire, a Associated Press A White House correspondent, Trump’s aides were surprised by the president’s response.
“He was in the garden of the White House when we asked him if the president was going to attend to pay his respects to the congressman on Capitol Hill, and he said no,” Lemire said during an appearance on MSNBC. Good morning Joe. “That surprised the assistants because there had been discussions about the president who was there at some point today, they thought it might be something he wanted to do.” We should note that Vice President Pence, who served with Congressman Lewis at the house, was there yesterday. ”
Joe Scarborough, the host of Good morning joeHe asked Lemire if Trump feared visiting the body of the black civil rights leader would hurt him with his white supporters.
“In public, White House aides say it’s the president’s decision, privately there is some frustration,” Lemire said. “They feel that the president is too aware of that, the signal that he could be sending to white voters. And he’s also someone he fought with before, we know how he has a grudge. We know that he did the same when Senator McCain died, neither did he attend or pay his respects publicly. He had to be convinced to put the flag up at half-mast in the White House when Senator McCain died. For Congressman Lewis, it was set at half mast but only half a day. ”
The day Lewis died, Trump did not issue a statement acknowledging the legislator’s death for 12 hours, despite being active on Twitter during that time period.
Trump and Lewis fought in the press in 2017, when Lewis said he would skip the President’s inauguration.
Lewis believed that the Trump presidency was illegitimate and the product of Russian interference in the elections.
“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis said in a 2017 interview with MSNBC. Meet the press. “I think the Russians were involved in helping this man get elected and have destroyed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.”
Trump responded by calling Lewis “everything speaks … without action or results.”
Lemire said Trump’s decision not to visit Lewis was part of the intensification of the president’s culture warfare strategy ahead of the 2020 U.S. election.
“You are right,” he continued. “There is increasing recognition among his advisers, who will lean on cultural efforts, the preservation of statues, Confederate bases, and the true momentum of law and order using federal troops in the cities, especially Portland.” It’s part of a piece, a signal to white and suburban voters, the same ones he’s trying to woo there, we’ve seen in the 1950s, a message for white families about black and brown families moving to the suburbs . Until now, polls have not suggested that work. “