WATCH: President-Elect Trump Prays with Martin Luther King III to ‘Heal the Nation’


President-elect Donald Trump prayed with the son of Martin Luther King Jr. at Trump Tower Monday, just days after the president-elect went after civil rights icon John Lewis on Twitter as someone who was ‘all talk.’

Trump ‘prayed with Martin Luther King III & discussed the legacy & work of his father #martinlutherkingday #MLKDAY’ tweeted incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicier Monday afternoon.

Spicer included a photograph of Trump flashing a ‘thumbs up’ and posing next to King in front of a wall of grip-and-grin photos inside Trump’s Trump Tower office. Included on Trump’s ‘me wall’ are photos of him with John F. Kennedy Jr. and Ronald Reagan, and a 1990 copy of Playboy Magazine with Trump on the cover.


A source who was at the meeting said it had opened with a prayer about ‘healing the nation’, the Washington Post reported.

The prayer and reflection came on a day when Trump hailed the ‘wonderful things’ that King stood for – following a nasty online spat with civil Lewis, who is skipping Trump’s inauguration after saying his election was ‘not legitimate’.

Trump escorted Martin Luther King III to the lobby of Trump tower following their meeting, then got back in an elevator as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s oldest son addressed the cameras.

Asked if he was ‘offended’ by Trump’s tweets hitting Lewis of Georgia, King tried to downplay the situation, and even used words that echoed Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan.

‘In the heat of emotion, a lot of things get said on both sides. And I think that at some point, I am, as John Lewis and many others are, a bridge builder. The goal is to bring America together and Americans,’ King said.

‘We are a great nation, and we must become a greater nation,’ King said.

King said that at their meeting Trump said ‘That he is going to represent Americans. He said that over and over again. And I think that we will continue to evaluate that.’

‘I believe that that’s his intent. But I think also we have to consistently engage with pressure, public pressure. It doesn’t happen automatically. My father and his team understood that, did that,’ he added.

Pressed about Trump’s online statement that civil rights icon John Lewis was ‘all talk,’ King responded: ‘Absolutely I would say John Lewis has demonstrated that he’s action. As I said, things get said on both sides in the heat of emotion. At some point this nation, we’ve got to move forward.’

Asked how his father might view the current dustup, King responded: ‘I think my father would be very concerned about the fact that there are 50 or 60 million people living in poverty. And somehow we’ve got to create the climate for all boats to be lifted.’

The source who briefed the Washington Post on the meeting said that there had been discussion of a longstanding call from King for a free universal photo ID system.

Trump was said to have expressed serious interest in photographs in Social Security cards, which would be an effective universal free photo ID.

The other participants in the meeting included the Rev James Forbes, who conducted the opening prayer and is chairman of the Drum Major Institute, a progressive group which promotes ‘the nonviolent social change legacy’ of Dr King.

One of its other members, Andrew Young, a former U.N. ambassador, who could not attend wrote to Trump saying that he still believed there should be a meeting despite ‘the regrettable exchange between you and my friend John Lewis’.

‘The first rule of Kingian nonviolence is that you can never find common ground without conversation,’ he wrote, according to the Washington Post.

Before the meeting, Trump tweeted: ‘Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for.’

He added: ‘Honor him for being the great man that he was!’

Trump’s praise for the man who helped bring about an end to racial segregation and transform American society came after scrubbing a trip to Washington following a spat with civil rights here Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

The sit down with the oldest son of the civil rights hero was just days after Trump got in a spat with Lewis, whom he accused of being ‘all talk, talk, talk – no action or results’ notwithstanding Lewis having been bloodied marching for civil rights.

Trump went after Lewis, ripping his Atlanta-based district as ‘falling apart’ and being ‘in horrible shape,’ after Lewis said he would skip Trump’s inauguration, saying he wasn’t ‘legitimate’ because of Russian hacking.

Since then, more House Democrats have announced plans to skip the inauguration, with the number approaching two dozen.

Trump’s transition had said over the weekend that a planned visit to the new Smithsonian African American history museum got pulled due to scheduling issues.

Spicer said Monday, ‘He was never going to Washington’ Monday.

He also kept up the pushback against Lewis. ‘If someone’s going to attack the president-elect … Donald Trump is leading a successful business to fight for this country to fight for American workers and he’s not going to sit back and let people take pot shots,’ he said.

Spicer called Lewis’ comments ‘disappointing,’ but also referred to him as ‘such an icon of voting rights and civil rights.’

Speaking on MSNBC, Spicer indicated Trump was willing to call Lewis to try to patch things up.

‘I wouldn’t put it past him to do that. But I think there’s got to be a willingness for John Lewis who has fought so hard for voting and civil rights to not use language about delegitimizing an election and the integrity of our voting system that he’s frankly been a real champion of,’ Spicer said.

‘I wouldn’t put it past him to pick up the phone and call him, but there’s got to be a willingness on both sides,’ he added.

But he slammed him for making a comment ‘about the legitimacy of an election – something he’s fought so hard to create the integrity of.’

His planned talk with MLK III about making ‘more people to be part of the voting process’ come as Democrats are warning Trump and his pick for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, will take steps to raise barriers to voting by signing off on tough voter identification laws.

His planned talk with MLK III about making ‘more people to be part of the voting process’ come as Democrats are warning Trump and his pick for attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, will take steps to raise barriers to voting by signing off on tough voter identification laws.

Trump won’t be going to the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, transition officials told ABC News over the weekend.

Senior sources initially said that Trump would visit the latest addition to the National Mall as part of his Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance – instead he’ll commemorate the civil rights leader in some other way.

The change of plans comes on the heels of a testy back-and-forth between Trump and Rep. John Lewis, a congressman who marched alongside King, and said he didn’t consider Trump a ‘legitimate president.’

In turn, Lewis said he would not be attending Friday’s inauguration ceremonies.

‘I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,’ Lewis told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, in portions of an interview released earlier this week.

The full Meet the Press exchange aired Sunday.

Trump greeted Lewis’ comments with a series of tweets, suggesting the Georgia Democrat’s district ‘is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).’

‘Congressman John Lewis should finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities of the U.S. I can use all the help I can get!’ Trump said.

Lewis represents much of downtown Atlanta, an ethnically diverse area, which features the world’s busiest airport and the headquarters of many major American businesses including Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola and CNN.

Trump, as of late, has been feuding with CNN as well, calling the cable channel ‘fake news’ at his press conference on Wednesday, as he slammed the media organization for mentioning – but not leaking – the dirty dossier in its coverage.

Over the weekend, Trump continued tweeting about the dossier, while complaining about Lewis too.

ABC’s transition sources said Trump’s visit to the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture was pulled from his calendar due to scheduling issues and because the visit hadn’t been fully planned out.

The transition team also announced that Clarence Thomas, the only African-American on the Supreme Court, would be swearing-in Vice President-elect Mike Pence at Friday’s ceremony.

Lewis was the original sponsor of the legislation to build an African American history museum on the National Mall, introducing the first bill back in 1988.

He then backed the project for 15 years until Republican President George W. Bush signed it into law.

Lewis’ civil rights activism is featured prominently in the museum.

Source: Daily Mail UK