Civil-rights icon John Lewis: 'I don't see Trump as a legitimate president'

Rep. John LewisScreenshot/NBCRep. John Lewis appears on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’

Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia on Friday leveled harsh words at President-elect Donald Trump, saying he doesn’t think his presidency is legitimate.

“I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis told NBC’s Chuck Todd during a “Meet the Press” interview set to air Sunday.

Lewis pointed to allegations of Russian interference in the recent election, including a dossier full of unverified claims about Trump’s potential ties to Russia.

“The Russians helped this man get elected and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said.

The long-serving Democrat from Georgia was the youngest member of the “Big Six” group of civil-rights leaders — along with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s — and was instrumental in organising the Selma-to-Montgomery marches.

Lewis said that he won’t be attending Trump’s inauguration, the first time he’s skipped the ceremony since he was elected to Congress in 1987.

“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong,” Lewis told Todd. He pointed to a “conspiracy” on the part of the Russians to help Trump get elected.

“That’s not right, it’s not fair,” Lewis said. “That’s not the open, democratic process.”

NOW WATCH: 11 facts that show how different Russia is from the rest of the world

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.