(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said the back-and-forth between President-elect Donald Trump and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) over the weekend is “very unfortunate.”
“You just can't do this,” Cummings told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "You know, I would hope that the President-elect would, today, pick up the phone, put down the Twitter stuff, and just give John Lewis a call.
"He is indeed a hero," Cumming said of longtime civil rights activist Lewis. "The 40-some members of the Congressional Black Caucus would not be in the caucus -- we wouldn't be in Congress, probably -- if it were not for people like John Lewis who put their lives on the line for us.
"So I would hope that the president (elect) would go big -- pick up the phone, President-Elect, and that would be on this Martin Luther King birthday -- celebration day -- I would hope the day he would do that.”
Trump criticized Lewis after Lewis told NBC's Chuck Todd, "I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president."
Asked if he will go to Donald Trump’s inauguration -- something Lewis and other Democrats have refused to do -- Cummings said he hasn't decided.
"I tell my constituents not to concentrate so much on what we're fighting against, but what we're fighting for. And so I try to concentrate on those things. And I represent 700,000 people, so I have to figure that one out," Cummings said.
He added that he'll see what happens “in the next day or so.” Cummings also urged Vice President-elect Mike Pence to play a bigger role in "bridging that gap between John Lewis and the president-elect. “But something has to be done,” he said.
Cummings said the issue is bigger than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. “This is about a struggle for the soul of our democracy.
"And it's really bothering me that we are going down this road where all of our agencies -- CIA, FBI, on and on -- are being threatened. Voting rights, you know, and telling a president who had 10 or 11 months left in his term that he can’t appoint a Supreme Court justice. We cannot go down this road, and we’ve got to turn this around."
Addressing Trump directly -- "I know the President-elect is watching," Cummings said, “and I would say to you, President-Elect, I’d be happy to meet with you at any moment, but we have work to do. The American people want us to get to work for them and lift them up."
Lewis said he'd be happy to work with Trump on reducing prescription drug prices and health care reform -- "I'm here with you," he said.
“There are things we can agree on.”