According to the Associated Press, Democrat Rep. John Lewis of Georgia claimed that President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration will be the first inauguration he has missed in three decades. However, it was quickly revealed that this was a complete lie. Now who is the one spreading fake news?
Kevin Freking of AP reported that Lewis had some very strong opinions about the incoming president’s legitimacy.
“You know, I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It will be hard. It’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis reportedly said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
He also commented on the Russia hacking scandal, saying, “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” while also explaining that he will miss this inauguration because “you cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.”
But it turns out that Lewis also missed President George W. Bush’s swearing-in ceremony in 2001. According to a 2011 story in The Washington Post, “John Lewis … spent the day in his Atlanta district. He thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush’s swearing-in because he doesn’t believe Bush is the true elected president.”
So it looks like we’ve been here — or, in Lewis’ case, not been here — before.
NewsBusters commented on the fake news that the AP was spreading: “The fact is that John Lewis boycotted the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001 in very outspoken fashion.”
“While many Democrats were furious with the outcome of the drawn-out 2000 election in which George W. Bush defeated Al Gore after recounts and a Supreme Court ruling, they generally attended Bush’s inauguration as the nation’s 43rd president,” AP wrote.
However this was also a mischaracterization of the truth, at best. According to that same Washington Post story, several Democrats boycotted that inauguration as well.
Many Democrats were not happy, and it was understandable “why some (Democrat) members wouldn’t want to come to this,” said Democrat Rep. Martin Frost at the time. “It’s not a good time when the other party is having all the fun.”
So we will ask again: Who is spreading fake news now?
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