Politics

Will John Lewis Sit Down with Trump?

Inhofe predicts civil rights icon and president-elect will eventually reconcile after spat

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) predicted during an interview Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) eventually will choose to meet and reconcile with President-Elect Donald Trump after they engaged in a highly publicized feud over the weekend.

Inhofe, who first was elected to Congress alongside Lewis in 1986, told LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham that he knows the Georgia Democrat “very well” and has “a lot of respect” for Lewis in key areas. Saying that Lewis “went overboard” when he told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that he didn’t believe Trump was a “legitimate” president, Inhofe said that he was “really surprised” at Lewis’ stance.

“And I think [Trump] genuinely would like to get to know Lewis better. And I think Lewis will eventually meet with him. That’s my prediction.”

“I know that Donald Trump got a lot of people mad when he went through the campaign,” Inhofe said. “But he won, and he’s now in a position — and it surprised me in my exposure to him in the Trump Tower at his invitation — I looked at the people that are surrounding him now, the people that are advising him. I watch him carefully listening and learning. And I think he genuinely would like to get to know Lewis better. And I think Lewis will eventually meet with him. That’s my prediction.”

For his own part, Trump said during an interview on “Fox & Friends” that he would be willing to meet with Lewis, although the two got “off to a bad start.”

“We have a divided country,” Trump said. “It’s been divided. But we have a very divided country. And what he did was very, very divisive.”

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During Lewis’ “Meet the Press” interview, he also announced that he would not be attending Trump’s inauguration or participating in the festivities Jan. 20. Following that interview, dozens of other Democratic politicians decided to follow Lewis’ example and boycott the inauguration. And Inhofe offered some choice words for them.

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“I think it’s just stupid,” Inhofe said, noting that he had no problem attending President Obama’s inaugurations, despite ideological differences. “They’re trying to make a point and they’re not making a point.”

Because some of those boycotting Democrats happen to represent states that Trump carried in the 2016 election, Inhofe said it “will be interesting” to see how those politicians’ constituents respond to their divisive lack of patriotism.

“It’s childish, and that’s all I can say,” Inhofe said. “And it doesn’t accomplish any purpose.”

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