Donald Trump met with Martin Luther King Jr.’s oldest son Monday to mark the national holiday commemorating the slain civil rights leader’s work — and discuss the president-elect’s war of words with Georgia Rep. John Lewis over the weekend.
“First of all, I think that in the heat of emotion a lot of things get said on both sides,” Martin Luther King III told reporters after emerging from the Trump Tower meeting. “I think that at some point I am, as John Lewis and many others are, a bridge builder. The goal is to bring America together and Americans.”
King III was then asked about Trump’s tweets Saturday disparaging Lewis as “all talk” and describing his Atlanta district as a “crime-infested” area that is “falling apart.” The Twitter barrage came a day after the Democratic congressman told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he will skip Trump’s inauguration next week because he doesn’t see him as a “legitimate president.”
King III said Trump was wrong to describe Lewis, a deputy of his father’s and a civil rights icon in his own right, as a man of “no action.”
“No, absolutely I would say John Lewis has demonstrated with his actions. As I said, things get said on both sides in the heat of emotion,” he said. “And at some point in this nation we’ve got to move forward.”
He said he told Trump that his father would be infuriated that tens of millions of people are still living in poverty.
“It’s insanity that we have poor people in this nation,” he said. “That’s unacceptable.”