The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus said the White House "is not serious about civil rights" after the Trump administration criticized the decision by Reps. John Lewis and Bennie Thompson to not attend the opening of a civil rights museum if President Trump attends.
“It’s laughable that the White House is criticizing John Lewis and Bennie Thompson for not attending the opening of a civil rights museum that honors the sacrifice of ....wait..... John Lewis, Bennie Thompson, and many others," Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., chairman of the caucus, said in a statement. “This White House is not serious about civil rights. From dismantling the civil rights division in DOJ to equating peaceful people who protested racism to Neo-nazis and White Supremacists, they just don’t get it.”
Earlier Wednesday, the congressmen announced they would not attend the opening of the Mississippi Museum of Civil Rights on Saturday because Trump's attendance would be an "insult" to the civil rights movement.
In response, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders : “We think it’s unfortunate that these members of Congress wouldn’t join the President in honoring the incredible sacrifice civil rights leaders made to right the injustices in our history."
The NAACP has also from the event.
“President Trump’s statements and policies regarding the protection and enforcement of civil rights have been abysmal, and his attendance is an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement,” said Derrick Johnson, NAACP president and CEO, said Wednesday.
Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights icon, has previously sparred with Trump, questioning his legitimacy as president and skipping his inauguration. Trump has, in turn, criticized the congressman and his district on Twitter.