As President-elect Donald Trump on Monday urged the nation to honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he plans to meet with King’s son, Martin Luther King III.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for. Honor him for being the great man that he was!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2017
“Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for. Honor him for being the great man that he was!” Trump tweeted Monday morning.
Trump also released a statement released on Facebook.
“The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lifted up the conscience of our nation — a towering leader in his day, and a lasting inspiration for all generations to follow,” Trump said in the statement.
“Our Declaration declares that ‘all men are created equal,’ and Dr. King challenged our nation to live out that sacred truth: to banish the evils of bigotry, segregation and oppression from the institutions of society and the hearts of men,” Trump said.
Trump noted that much remains to be done.
“But his work is not done: all around us today we see communities and schools falling behind and not sharing in the prosperity of American life. Each of us has a solemn obligation to ensure that no American is left behind — and that all Americans are fully included in the American Dream. When young Americans of color are left on the sidelines, our nation is denied a lifetime of contributions to this society — and when any of our American brothers and sisters is forced to live in fear, or poverty, or violence, it is setback for the entire nation,” the statement said.
“We rise and fall together, and today we pledge to follow in Dr. King’s footsteps so that all Americans may know the full blessings of this God-blessed land,” the statement added.
Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer had earlier tweeted some of Trump’s plans for the day.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) January 16, 2017
“Today we observe the birthday of #MartinLutherKing – @realDonaldTrump will meet with Martin Luther King III to discuss his legacy #MLKDAY,” Spicer tweeted Monday.
The meeting with King came in the context of a media dispute between Trump and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who last week said he does not view Trump as a “legitimate” president and has refused to attend Trump’s inauguration.
Although intelligence officials have said Russian hacking of the Democratic Nation Committee did not directly affect the election, Lewis said that he could not support Trump because the Russians supported him and attacked Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump fired back with a tweet blasting Lewis for being all “talk” and no “action.” That tweet took the dispute to a new level because of Lewis’ past as a participant in civil rights marches with King and his much-publicized beating by a police officer in 1965.
Spicer on Monday said Trump was only responding to an unprovoked attack
“Congressman Lewis started this,” Spicer said.
“To see somebody of John Lewis’ stature and iconic nature who has worked so hard to enfranchise people and talk about people getting involved with our voting systems, and talking about the integrity of our voting systems, to then go out when the candidate of his choice didn’t win and try to talk about the delegitimization of the election is frankly disappointing,” Spicer said.
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