Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said he will not attend the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this weekend because President Trump plans to attend.
“Right now we’re not going,” Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But there’s a possibility that the head man may not show up, may cancel.”
Lewis previously hinted he may not attend the event.
“It’s going to be very difficult for me to be there and be on the same platform with him,” Lewis said Wednesday.
In response, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement: “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."
Lewis and Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a joint statement earlier Thursday that Trump's attendance at the Saturday event would be an "insult" to the civil rights movement.
The NAACP also asked Trump to stay away 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, 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.