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Rev. Al Sharpton lashes into the legitimacy debate and tells Donald Trump what he must do to unite the country Associated Press

Rev. Al Sharpton will be involved in a protest against President-elect Trump on the eve of the inauguration. On Monday he joined the discussion about whether Trump is a legitimate president.

During an interview on MSNBC with guest host Peter Alexander, Sharpton stopped short of Congressman John Lewis’ claim that Trump is an “illegitimate president.” Instead, he said there is no question that “the process that elected him was not legitimate.”

“When you look at now the evidence from the intelligence agencies that there was the influence from the Russians involved in the public discourse at the time of the election,” Sharpton said:

“When you look at those that were expunged from being able to vote, clearly the process has serious questions about it. And to come from John Lewis, a man who was beaten on the bridge in Selma, Ala., to get the Voting Rights Act that opened up the voting process to everyone, he has blood in this, he has some injury in this that opened the voting process up and should not take lightly his view at all.”

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Sharpton criticized Trumped for showing disrespect toward Lewis with a series of harsh tweets and said Trump must be the “bigger person” if he is going to unite the country.

Alexander asked Sharpton why it is now an appropriate response for Democrats such as Lewis to contend that Trump is an illegitimate president when his party was critical of Trump continually calling the election process “rigged” and contended he might not accept the result of the election if he lost.

“First of all, the tables turned,” Sharpton replied. “When you have all of this information that has come out since the election, on what has influenced the election, what was done in several states around voting, so I don’t know that you can say that we can just go beyond that if we believe in the voting rights and the democratic process that what we say that we do.”

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“And I think then for the President-elect to come back and attack personally John Lewis and saying that his views are just talk, talk, talk and to disparage his district which by no means is in the way that he says, I think it shows a disconnect and a disrespect that I would hope the president-elect reconsiders and becomes the big person that this country needs a president to be,” he added.

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Sharpton went on to say that the impact of the feud between Trump and Lewis is “devastating.”

“Thousands of us marched in the bad weather, in the icy rain on Saturday. People are fired up feeling their voting rights, feeling that the Affordable Care Act, feeling that reform in criminal justice is going away, which Martin Luther King stood for … and I think that he has furthered that gap,” he said. “He has in many ways divided us more.”

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