President Trump does not plan to visit the Capitol to honor the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), he told reporters Monday.
“I won’t be going, no,” Trump said before departing the White House for a trip to North Carolina when asked if he planned to visit the Capitol either Monday or Tuesday to pay his respects to Lewis.
Vice President Pence and second lady Karen Pence are scheduled to visit the Capitol, where Lewis will lie in state in the rotunda, Monday evening after the vice president returns from a trip to Florida to discuss coronavirus vaccine research.
Lewis’s casket arrived at the Capitol just as Trump was leaving Washington, D.C., for North Carolina.
The casket will be displayed outside at the top of the steps of the Capitol later Monday so that members of the public can pay their respects while maintaining distance because of the coronavirus pandemic. The outdoor public viewing will be continued during the day Tuesday.
Lewis emerged as a key figure of the civil rights movement, having survived a brutal beating by Alabama state troopers during the 1965 march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery that has become known as “Bloody Sunday.” He died at the age of 80 on July 17 after a months-long battle with cancer.
Trump ordered flags at the White House to fly at half-staff in honor of Lewis for part of the day following his death. The president said that day that he was “saddened” to hear the news of Lewis’s death, calling him a civil rights hero in a tweet, but has otherwise said little about his death publicly.
Trump was sharply critical of Lewis in 2017, saying his Atlanta-area district was in “horrible shape” and calling the congressman “all talk” and “no action or results.” The president’s remark, which came in the form of a tweet, came after Lewis said Trump was not a “legitimate” president.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden