Following their leader’s example of never backing down, Donald Trump’s spokesmen Monday doubled down on criticism of Rep. John Lewis, who questioned the legitimacy of the president-elect’s election. The effect: Lewis’ books jumped to the top of Amazon’s bestsellers list.

For his part, Lewis set aside his prepared Martin Luther King Day remarks, a direct response to Trump’s criticism, Monday, instead exhorting his Miami audience, “Never, ever hate. The way of love is a better way. The way of peace is a better way.”

Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, stirred the wrath of the incoming administration in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” pointing to Russian interference as a reason to question whether Trump had been elected legitimately, especially since Democrat Hillary Clinton outpolled him by almost 3 million popular votes.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russia hacked the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The stolen emails were then turned over to WikiLeaks for publication but the intelligence assessment contained no conclusions on whether Russian machinations actually turned the tide of the election.

The controversy sent several of Lewis’ books to the top of Amazon’s Top 20 bestseller list, with his "March" at No. 1 and his autobiography "Walking With the Wind" at No. 2 — both selling out. “March” rose to the top spot from No. 451 while “Walking With the Wind” had been languishing at No. 8,701. A third Lewis book also was listed as sold out, “Across That Bridge,” which was at No. 116 on Amazon.

None of Trump's books is in the top 100 on Amazon.

The spat brought plaudits from other speakers at the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project breakfast where Lewis spoke.

“We throw the word ‘courage’ around these days very lightly,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told the gathering. “You are sitting in the presence of a true American hero.” Lewis was beaten during the march on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on what became known as Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965. He suffered a skull fracture.

Rubio said he doesn’t agree with Lewis’ assessment on whether Trump was legitimately elected, but also would have hoped Trump would have handled the situation differently.

Trump canceled a planned visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, citing a scheduling conflict. Some of the museum’s exhibits on Martin Luther King feature Lewis. He did meet with Martin Luther King III at Trump Tower on Monday.

King rejected Trump's characterization of Lewis as "all talk... no action."

Lewis "demonstrated that he is action," King told reporters.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence told “Fox & Friends” Monday he respects the role Lewis played in the civil rights struggle and in promoting voting rights, but is “disappointed that he would make the statement he made. For someone of Lewis’ stature to lend credibility to baseless assertions of those who question the legitimacy of this election is deeply disappointing. I hope he reconsiders.”

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer criticized Lewis on NBC’s “Today,” saying there’s no evidence the Russian hacking had any real impact on the election process.

“There was no tampering with anything,” Spicer said. “And to see somebody of John Lewis’ stature, and iconic nature, who has worked so hard to enfranchise people and talk about getting people involved in our voting systems and getting and talking about the integrity of our voting system, to them go out when the candidate of his choice doesn’t win, and try to talk about the deligitimization of the election is frankly disappointing.”

Trump himself was silent on the issue Monday after unleashing that weekend tweetstorm criticizing Lewis as "all talk." Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has had enough of the tweeting.

“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,” Cummings told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”