President Donald Trump refused to say whether or not he discovered the civil rights icon John Lewis spectacular, grumbling that the longtime Democratic congressman and voting rights pioneer didn’t come to his inauguration or State of the Union addresses. Towards the tip of a wide-ranging interview through which Axios reporter Jonathan Swan grilled him on coronavirus and Russian bounties, the president was requested whether or not he believed systemic racism exists.After saying “I hope the reply to that query is not any,” Trump tried to deflect when confronted with the information that Black males disproportionately die by the hands of police in comparison with whites. “OK, if that’s the quantity, it speaks to one thing that to me is unacceptable,” Trump mentioned within the interview, which aired Monday evening on HBO. The president, nonetheless, wouldn’t definitively say that systemic racism exists. As an alternative, he fell again to his well-worn speaking factors about passing prison justice reform and creating “alternative zones” so as to repeat his declare that he’s carried out extra for Black People than every other president outdoors of the “potential exception” of Abraham Lincoln.“You actually—you imagine you probably did greater than Lyndon Johnson, who handed the Civil Rights Act?” an incredulous Swan requested.“I believe I did, yeah,” Trump shot again, citing prison and jail reform.Swan famous that Johnson handed civil rights laws within the 1960s, one thing that apparently left Trump unimpressed.“Check out what Lyndon Johnson did,” Trump huffed. “How has it labored out? As a result of, frankly, it took a very long time.”“You suppose that was a mistake?” Swan puzzled aloud as Trump rambled on about his personal private achievements.After the president completed patting himself on the again about how Black People “have been doing higher than they’d ever carried out within the historical past of this nation” below his administration, Swan turned the dialog to Lewis.“John Lewis is mendacity in state within the U.S. Capitol,” he requested. “How do you suppose historical past will bear in mind John Lewis?”“I don’t know. I actually don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know John Lewis,” Trump replied, including: “He selected to not come to my inauguration. He selected—I don’t—I by no means met John Lewis really, I don’t imagine.”Swan continued to press the difficulty, asking the president—who as soon as referred to as the civil rights legend “all discuss, no motion”—if he discovered Lewis spectacular.“I can’t say by some means,” Trump, who skipped Lewis’ memorial companies, mentioned. “I discover lots of people spectacular. I discover many individuals not spectacular. However no, he didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my State of the Union speeches, and that’s OK. That’s his proper. And, once more, no one has carried out extra for Black People than I’ve. He ought to’ve come. I believe he made a giant mistake. I believe he ought to’ve come.”Swan tried yet one more time to provide Trump a possibility to say one thing good concerning the man whose cranium was fractured marching for the fitting to vote. The president supplied the slightest of compliments.“However taking your relationship with him out of it,” the Axios reporter requested. “Do you discover his story spectacular, what he’s carried out for this nation?”“He was an individual that devoted a variety of vitality and a lotta coronary heart to civil rights,” Trump shrugged earlier than including: “However there have been many others additionally.”Learn extra at The Each day Beast.Get our high tales in your inbox each day. Enroll now!Each day Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the tales that matter to you. Study extra.