Washington (CNN)Rep. John Lewis called President Donald Trump a “racist,” citing Trump’s reported remarks about immigrants coming to the United States from “shithole countries” during a White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform.
“I think he is a racist,” Lewis continued, adding that he cannot “in good conscience” attend Trump’s State of the Union address later this month.
Trump has denied making the vulgar comments at the Thursday meeting.
Lewis said Sunday that he believes Congress should censure Trump.
“We have to speak up and not try to sweep it under the rug,” Lewis said, later adding that “as a member of the House, when that (censure) resolution comes up, I will be one of the people to speak up and speak out. I think we should do it. We must do it. We must educate our children and generations yet unborn.”
In a series of tweets over the weekend, Trump blamed Democrats for stalling immigration talks.
Democrats have been demanding protections for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which the Trump administration has decided to end, in exchange for border security funding that could include money for Trump’s promised border wall. Lawmakers have to pass a federal spending bill by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.
“Well, I, for one, will not vote for government funding until we get a deal on DACA,” Lewis said Sunday.