— Matt Wilstein (@TheMattWilstein) January 16, 2017
One would be forgiven for feeling whiplash after Donald Trump’s whirlwind MLK weekend. He began by trashing civil rights legend John Lewis as “all talk” after Lewis described Trump as not a “legitimate president.” Lewis then said that he’d never invite Trump to Selma, and Trump’s planned visit to the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture dropped off the schedule. However, Trump met with Martin Luther King III on Monday at Trump Tower. King described the meeting as a “very constructive one.”
In the above video, King also fielded CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s question about the Trump-Lewis feud and whether it “cut to the core” to hear Trump say such things about the man who marched next to his father:
“Absolutely, I would say that John Lewis has demonstrated that he’s action. As I’ve said, things get said on both sides in the heat of emotion. And at some point, this nation, we’ve gotta move forward. People are literally dying, we’ve gotta talk about that. How do we feed people, how do we clothe people? How do we create the best education system? That’s what we need to be focused on … And I think that at some point — I am, as John Lewis and many others, a bridge builder.”
During the meeting, incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer posted a photo of the two men posing together in Trump’s office.
The two men also privately discussed voting rights. King told reporters that Trump repeatedly said he would represent the whole nation, which is something that King will be watching:
“It is very clear that the system is not working at its maximum … [Trump said] that he is going to represent all Americans, and we will evaluate that … I believe that’s his intent. I believe we have to consistently engage with pressure, public pressure. It doesn’t happen automatically, my father and his team understood that, did that.”