Martin Luther King’s son slams Mike Pence for comparing Donald Trump with his father

January 21, 2019 GMT

The son of Martin Luther King Jr. criticized Vice President Mike Pence Monday for comparing President Trump to the late civil rights leader.

On the federal holiday honoring his father, Martin Luther King III told the annual National Action Network breakfast in Washington, “I wonder what my father would be thinking” of the comparison with Mr. Trump.

“Martin Luther King Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder,” he said. “Martin Luther King Jr. would say love, not hate, will make America great.”

Mr. King said he can’t truly celebrate the holiday due to the partial government shutdown.

“I don’t know how we celebrate when everyday workers can’t work,” Mr. King said. “The Coast Guard can’t even get paid. And nobody seems to care. There’s something wrong with that. Many of us have to go through airports today, and every day less and less [TSA] folks are showing up. I don’t blame them. They’ve got to figure out how to make ends meet because the government is shut down.”

He added, “So we observe Dr. King’s birthday, we don’t celebrate it. We can’t celebrate it as long as there’s police brutality and misconduct. We can’t celebrate as long as children are being divided from their families.”

In an appearance Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” the vice president compared Dr. King to the president.

“You think of how he changed America,” Mr. Pence said of Dr. King. “He inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on Congress to do: Come to the table in the spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border and we’ll reopen the government.”