- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump said Rep. John Lewis, who said recently he doesn’t see Mr. Trump as a legitimate president, was “grandstanding” and got “caught” lying when he said this year’s inauguration will be the first he’s missed as a congressman.

“He conveniently doesn’t remember. How do you forget if you go to an inauguration?” Mr. Trump said in an interview that aired Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”

“So he got caught, and it’s pretty bad, and it’s making him look bad, frankly,” Mr. Trump said.

“I think for him to have grandstanded … I think he just grandstanded, John Lewis, and then he got caught in a very bad lie,” he said. “So let’s see what happens.”

Mr. Lewis said in a recent interview with NBC he doesn’t see Mr. Trump as a legitimate president because of Russian meddling in the election. Mr. Trump fired back over the weekend on Twitter by saying that the Georgia Democrat should spend more time fixing his district rather than “falsely complaining” about election results.

In the interview, Mr. Lewis also said Friday’s inauguration will be the first presidential inauguration he’ll have missed since entering Congress in 1987.

But the civil rights icon also missed the 2001 inauguration of President George W. Bush, with his office saying this week that move was a form of dissent after the contested 2000 election.

Mr. Trump said he’d be willing to sit down with Mr. Lewis but that “we’re off to a bad start, there’s no question about it.”

“What he did was a very, very bad thing. Not for me — for me, it doesn’t matter. He did a bad thing for the country,” he said.

“Very, very divisive — we have a divided country,” Mr. Trump said. “And it’s not divided because of me. It’s been divided. But we have a very divided country, and what he did what very, very divisive.”

Dozens of other House Democrats also say they’re skipping this year’s inauguration. Some of them indicated those plans before Mr. Lewis and Mr. Trump got into the back-and-forth, but many of Mr. Lewis’s Democratic colleagues are rallying around him as well.

Mr. Trump said it’s OK if other people don’t go because “we need seats so badly.”

“I hope they give me their tickets. Are they going to give us their tickets?” he said.

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