'Love, Not Hate, Will Make America Great': Martin Luther King Jr.'s Son Responds to Pence Using MLK Quote to Push Donald Trump's Border Wall

Martin Luther King Jr.'s son fired back after Vice President Mike Pence quoted his father while talking about President Donald Trump's character and reasoning to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Pence appeared Sunday on CBS News's Face the Nation in an attempt to sell Trump's latest proposal to end the partial shutdown of the federal government and seemed to connect the president's efforts to King's legacy. MLK's son rejected the comparison on Monday.

King III told the audience at the National Action Network breakfast honoring MLK in Washington, D.C., that his father would not have supported Trump's wall, according to a tweet from staff writer Edwards-Isaac Dovere of The Atlantic.

"The vice president attempted to compare the president to Martin Luther King Jr.," King III said. "Martin Luther King Jr. was a bridge builder, not a wall builder. Martin Luther King Jr. would say, 'Love, not hate, will make America great.'"

.@OfficialMLK3 in DC blasts Pence for invoking his father:
"The vice president attempted to compare the president to Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr was a bridge builder, not a wall builder. Martin Luther King Jr. would say, ‘Love, not hate,will make America great.'"

— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) January 21, 2019

Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan asked Pence on Sunday about the partial shutdown of the federal government, which has left 800,000 American workers without pay. She questioned whether Trump's offer on Saturday to provide temporary protections for young undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border had support from any Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the deal even before Trump anounced it Saturday, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it "hostage taking."

Pence seemed to dodge Brennan's question and instead bridged the conversation to MLK Day.

"Honestly, you know, the hearts and minds of the American people today are thinking a lot about it being the weekend where we remember the life and the work of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.," Pence told Brennan. "One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, 'Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.' You think of how he changed America, he inspired us to change through the legislative process to become a more perfect union. That's exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do."

The president tweeted the proclamation for the federal MLK Day holiday Monday but did not have any events scheduled to honor the civil rights leader.

Martin Luther King III speaks at the annual National Action Network Breakfast on January 21 in Washington, DC. King III responded to Vice President Mike Pence's comment on Sunday when he used one of his father's quotes to explain President Donald Trump's push for the border wall. Al Drago/Getty Images

The Reverend Al Sharpton called out Trump during the breakfast on Monday for not holding an official White House event to honor King. He called the lack of planned celebrations to honor the civil rights activist during the federal holiday "an insult to the American people," according to the New York Daily News.

"The vice president...nor the president, have any official thing on their calendar to celebrate a federal holiday that Ronald Reagan signed," Sharpton said. "This is an insult to the American people that the president of the United States does not officially recognize or give any ceremony for Dr. King."