One of the stranger moments of Martin Luther King Day came Monday morning in Nashville, where – immediately following a speaking event – former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young received a phone call from President-elect Donald Trump.
Watch it here:
The conversation came after Trump had met with Martin Luther King III in New York, and was recorded on Young’s end, as his small audience listened in.
“We all ended up having hope for your administration,” Young told the president-elect – summing up the contents of that morning’s speech in Nashville.
A prime topic between Young and Trump was U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ decision to boycott Friday’s inauguration and the Atlanta congressman’s declaration that he doesn’t consider Trump to be a “legitimate” president.
"John is a good ... a very good man, he is really a saint," Young told Trump in a four-minute conversation that happened during a Tennessean [newspaper] interview with him and Nashville's mayor, Megan Barry. "He is kind of disillusioned right now, but he will come back."
On YouTube and in an impromptu op-ed piece, Young has attempted to remind the civil rights communities that progress has sometimes come in the face of strong opposition. He’s made the case that this might apply to Trump. More from USA Today:
“John Lewis knows that,” Young said after the phone call with Trump. “I think that he made a mistake in saying it, and I think the president-elect made a mistake in responding.”
Young didn’t relay the president-elect’s remarks, but afterwards can be heard saying, “That was a different Donald Trump than anybody’s heard.”
In last week’s interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, U.S. Rep. John Lewis said Friday’s inauguration would be the first he’s missed since he became a member of Congress 30 years ago. But several conservative outlets are pointing to this paragraph from a 2001 article about the inauguration of George W. Bush in the Washington Post:
Some members of the Black Caucus decided to boycott Inauguration Day; John Lewis, for instance, spent the day in his Atlanta district. He thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush's swearing-in because he doesn't believe Bush is the true elected president.
FYI, at least one Georgia Republican, Gov. Nathan Deal, is opting out of the inauguration hoopla, but for financial reasons.
President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office Friday as the least popular incoming president in at least four decades, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. Even so, a majority expressed optimism that he will be able to boost the economy and deal with threats of terrorism.
The president-elect was not pleased by the information:
Look for protests to be a feature of today’s meeting of the Gwinnett County Commission. We’re told demonstrators will be calling for the resignation of Commissioner Tommy Hunter, who over the weekend called U.S. Rep. John Lewis a “racist pig” for his remarks about President-elect Donald Trump.
A University of Georgia group is planning an 11:30 a.m. Friday rally to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump. The event is being put togther by the Progressive Action Coalition - a group of UGA's left-leaning student groups.
Meanwhile, a different sort of protest is unfolding at LaGrange College, where U.S. Rep. John Lewis is planning to deliver the west Georgia school's annual Martin Luther King Jr. address on Jan. 26.
Some graduates of the college objected to his appearance after the Georgia Democrat said he would boycott Trump's swearing-in ceremony and questioned the legitimacy of his election. President Dan McAlexander sent word that he's standing by his decision:
“Since our January event marks the college’s observance of Dr. King’s birthday, Rep. Lewis was invited back to campus because he is a great American hero of the civil rights movement,” McAlexander said in a statement. “As a compatriot of Dr. King and as one who has led his life in accord with the nonviolent principles espoused by him, often at great cost to his own freedom and physical well-being, he was chosen as a most appropriate speaker for the occasion.”
Georgia GOP engagement guru Leo Smith invoked Stone Mountain -- the controversial paean to the Confederate dead -- in his Martin Luther King Jr. Day message to fellow Republicans:
King's vision of a transformed and just society were exhorted by his words referencing a "stone of hope" and "exalted valleys," says Republican Minority Engagement Director Leo Smith. "I am spending the morning with my children at Stone Mountain playing in a place once not welcoming. It is an example of the heights we've climbed as a country."
CNN is one of a number of news outlets that have been delving into U.S. Rep. Tom Price's stock trades, in anticipation of his upcoming confirmation hearing as secretary of health and Human Services. Read the report here. Our summary:
-- Price purchased up to $15,000 in a medical device manufacturer’s stock.
-- Price introduced legislation that would have delayed a federal regulation that was seen as harmful to said medical device manufacturer’s bottom line.
-- Medical device manufacturer donated to Price’s campaign committee.
That’s not exactly the kind of story line you want to see floating around as you prepare to take the hot seat in front of a group of U.S. senators. On the other hand, we’d be remiss if we didn't add a note of caution.
The legislation Price introduced that would have aided the medical device manufacturer didn’t go anywhere on Capitol Hill – it didn’t even receive a hearing in the House or Senate, much less a vote.
With that said, take a look at the statement Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., circulated yesterday evening regarding CNN’s reporting on Price:
"This new report makes clear that this isn't just a couple of questionable trades, but rather a clear and troubling pattern of Congressman Price trading stock and using his office to benefit the companies in which he is investing. The President-elect claims he wants to drain the swamp, but Congressman Price has spent his career filling it up.
… "This report and his previous trades cast serious doubt on whether Congressman Price is fit to hold the office of Secretary for Health and Human Services."
Schumer also reupped calls for an ethics probe into Price’s finances.
One of the first speeches new U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson , R-West Point, made on the House included an extended metaphor illustrating his distaste for Obamacare. A goat is involved. Vox has the video and an illustrated transcript.