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Rep. John Lewis: Russia election 'conspiracy' makes Donald Trump's presidency illegitimate

Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement, said he does not view Donald Trump as a legitimate president because of Russia’s attempts to interfere with the election result.

The assessment came when the Georgia Democrat was asked by "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd if he would forge a relationship with the Republican president-elect, as he has with previous presidents in both parties.

“I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It’s going to be hard,” he said. “I don’t see the president-elect as a legitimate president.”

“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected,” he added, also calling it a “conspiracy.” “They helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

Lewis said he would not attend Trump’s inauguration next week - the first presidential inauguration he would skip since he was elected to Congress in 1986.

“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong,” he said.

Lewis, who suffered a skull fracture during a voting rights march in Selma in 1965, has in the past criticized Trump for questioning whether President Obama was born in the United States, and thus whether he was eligible to hold the office.

Obama has called Lewis one of his “heroes,” and joined him to mark the 50th anniversary of the Selma march two years ago, as well as the dedication of the National Museum of African American History on the National Mall in September.

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