Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said that he does not view Donald Trump as a “legitimate president” who won the election on his own terms.
In a preview of his interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press” set to air Sunday, Lewis said it would be “very difficult” to establish a relationship with the President-elect as a result, despite his belief in “trying to work with people.”
“I don’t see this President-elect as a legitimate president,” he said.
Asked by host Chuck Todd to elaborate, Lewis cited the intelligence community’s assessment that Russian operatives intervened in the election by orchestrating cyberhacks of the Democratic National Committee and email account of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said.
The Georgia Democrat added that for the first time in his three decades in Congress, he would skip out on the president’s inauguration ceremony in protest.
“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right,” Lewis said of his decision to miss the Jan. 20 event.
A number of other Democratic lawmakers, including Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Katherine Clark (D-MA), have also announced their intention to boycott Trump’s swearing-in.