Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan's office said they made a mistake after a Facebook post honoring Lewis, the late Georgia congressman, included a picture of Sullivan with Cummings, the Maryland congressman who died in October of 2019, in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
"Senator Sullivan's staff made a mistake trying to honor an American legend," a spokesperson for his office told CNN.
The post, which was shared by various users on Twitter, showed a screen grab of the Alaska senator's Facebook post in which he wrote, "It was an honor to have served alongside John for a small portion of his impressive career of service, and to have joined him at the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture."
Displayed below was an image of Sullivan standing outside of the museum with Cummings, not Lewis. Sullivan's post has since been deleted. The Republican senator's Facebook page now includes a post with reference to a Washington Post article on the late Georgia congressman's death.
The photo used in Saturday's initial post was included in a post in October acknowledging the death of Cummings.
Sullivan's gaffe followed that of Sen. Marco Rubio, who earlier in the day acknowledged tweeting an image that also mistook Cummings for Lewis. Rubio, a Republican from Florida, eventually deleted his post, replacing it with an image of Lewis and a tribute message.
"Earlier today I tweeted an incorrect photo. John Lewis was a genuine American hero. I was honored to appear together in Miami 3 years ago at an event captured in video below. My God grant him eternal rest," read Rubio's updated Saturday Twitter tribute.
Lewis died Friday night at the age of 80 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2019. The late congressman became involved in the civil rights movement at 15 years old, and served 17 terms in Congress since first being elected in 1986. Tributes to Lewis following reports of his death immediately started pouring in from politicians, world leaders and former presidents.
"He was a stalwart champion in the on-going struggle to demand respect for the dignity and worth of every human being. He dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in America. He will be deeply missed," read a statement Friday night issued by Lewis' family on his passing.
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