Trump, ex-presidents respond to John Lewis’ death

President Donald Trump and four ex-presidents have all released statements responding to the news that U.S. Rep. John Lewis died Friday night at age 80.

Trump, who also ordered flags at the White House and on federal property to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, said on Twitter he is “saddened” to hear Lewis was gone and sent prayers to his family. The president’s statement belied the often antagonist relationship he had with the Democratic congressman from Atlanta.

Former President Barack Obama posted a lengthy tribute to Lewis on Medium. Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the civil rights leader in 2011.

“He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise,” Obama wrote. “And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.”

Former President George W. Bush said he and his wife, Laura, are mourning with America about the loss of Lewis.

“America can best honor John’s memory by continuing his journey toward liberty and justice for all,” he said in a statement.

Former President Bill Clinton and wife, Hillary, released a joint message that began with this sentence: “We have lost a giant.”

And former President Jimmy Carter said Lewis made an “indelible mark on history through his quest to make our nation more just.”

“John never shied away from what he called ‘good trouble’ to lead our nation on the path toward human and civil rights,” Carter said in a statement. “Everything he did, he did in a spirit of love.”

COMPLETE COVERAGE: A civil rights hero, Georgia congressman, dies at 80

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