*During an Axios interview that aired Monday on HBO, President Trump declined to say whether he found the late Rep. John Lewis’s life “impressive,” but twice made a point to mention that the civil rights icon should have come to his inauguration.
Asked how he thinks history will remember Lewis, Trump told reporter Jonathan Swan, “I don’t know. I don’t know John Lewis,” adding, “He chose not to come to my inauguration. I never met John Lewis, actually, I don’t believe.”
The president said that he couldn’t “say one way or the other” whether he found Lewis’s life “impressive.”
“I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive,” Trump said. He continued: “He didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches, and that’s OK, that’s his right, and, again, nobody has done more for Black Americans than I have. He should have come. I think he made a big mistake.”
Pressed to answer the original question of whether he found Lewis’s story impressive, Trump said Lewis “was a person that devoted a lot of energy and a lot of heart to civil rights, but there were many others also.”
Asked if he would support a petition that calls for the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. to be renamed after Lewis, Trump said he would have “no objection” to it.
Trump is also challenged on his repeated claims that he’s done more for Black Americans than any other president with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. Swan pushes back by bringing up Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed the Civil Rights Act. Trump didn’t have an answer. Swan also asked Trump if he would ever meet with Black Lives Matter activists to hear their concerns. Trump said he was turned off by the group when one faction chanted in a viral video, “Pigs in a blanket … fry ’em like bacon,” referring to police. Swan asked Trump if he believes that many police “treat Black people differently from white people.”
“Well, I hope not,” said Trump.
Watch below beginning at the 31:32 mark. The John Lewis portion begins at the 35:24 mark.