Rep. John Lewis issued a statement Thursday downplaying Bernie Sanders’s role in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Speaking on Capitol Hill Thursday, Rep. Lewis said, “I never saw him. I never met him.” Lewis then added, “But I met Hillary Clinton.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 11, 2016
The way the statement is framed makes it sound as if Lewis never met Sanders, “but” he did meet the Clintons. The only time frame being discussed in the statement is the mid-1960s.
However, according to a previously published account highlighted Friday by Hot Air, Lewis did not meet the Clintons in the 1960s. A book published in 2006 contains Rep. Lewis account of coming to know the Clintons. He wrote, “The first time I heard of Bill Clinton was in the early ’70s.” It was much later when the two were formally introduced:
After he became involved with the Democratic Leadership Council, I would run into him from time to time. But it was one of his aides, Rodney Slater, who actually introduced us in 1991 and asked me if I would support his presidency.
Sen. Sanders participated in civil rights protests in the Chicago area in 1962 and 1963. In August of 1963, he was arrested during a protest and later fined $25. He attended Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington but never traveled to the south for protests where he might have met John Lewis.
Rep. Lewis’s office did not respond to an inquiry on the apparent discrepancy over the timing of meeting the Clintons in his Thursday statement.