WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday told reporters has no plans to visit the casket of civil rights hero John Lewis as he lies in state in the US Capitol.
“No, I won’t be going, no,” Trump said when asked if he would travel on Monday or Tuesday to pay his respects.
Trump made the remarks before departing for a trip to North Carolina as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle gathered in the Capitol rotunda on Monday afternoon to receive Lewis’ body following a motorcade procession through Washington, D.C.
Vice President Mike Pence will pay his respects on behalf of the president.
Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) paid tribute to Lewis and his legacy as someone who fought for racial equality for seven decades, most notably during the 1965 civil rights march in Selma where he was beaten by police.
Lewis, who was 80, died earlier this month from stage-4 pancreatic cancer and made his last appearance just weeks ago at Black Lives Matter Plaza in D.C. as the nation continues to reckon with decades of systemic inequality.
Trump tweeted that day, “Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family.”
But Lewis and the president were often at odds. The lawmaker boycotted Trump’s inauguration in Jan. 2017, spurring at least 60 other Democrats to follow.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden traveled from Delaware to the nation’s Capitol on Monday to pay tribute to his former colleague.