President Donald Trump told reporters Monday he will not participate memorial services for civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis this week.

“I won’t be going, no,” Trump told reporters when they asked him whether he is planning to pay respects to Lewis at the Capitol. On Monday, Trump departed for a trip to North Carolina to visit an institution working on coronavirus vaccine and returned in the early evening.

Lewis, who died July 17 from pancreatic cancer, will lie in state at the Capitol. The memorial services have been open for public visits Monday and Tuesday. During the invitation-only ceremony broadcasted on live TV, a motorcade brought his casket to the Capitol and a military honor guard took it to the rotunda.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence paid respects to Lewis on Monday evening. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden also visited the Capitol to honor the memory of Lewis Monday.

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Lewis was in Congress for 30 years and was a well-known activist against segregation and discrimination against black Americans during the Civil Rights movement. In 1965, Lewis organized demonstrations across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama on “Bloody Sunday,” as well as the March on Washington.

Trump and Lewis did not have positive opinions on each other. In 2017, Trump attacked Lewis on Twitter saying he was “all talk … no action or results,” after Lewis said he did not consider Trump a “legitimate president” and said he would skip Trump’s inauguration.

To address the passing of Lewis and honor his memory, Trump posted a tweet with condolences to his family and had the White House lower its flags.

“Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing,” Trump tweeted. “Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family.”


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