Pelosi calls Trump’s tweets about Cummings, Baltimore ‘racist attacks’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced Saturday President Donald Trump’s criticisms of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and his Baltimore district as “racist attacks.”
“.@RepCummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague,” Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote on Twitter. “We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership.”
Other leaders and members of Congress blasted the president’s Saturday morning tweet, in which he described Cummings’ district, which includes parts of Baltimore, as “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” He also claimed that “no human would want to live there” and that the district is “far worse and more dangerous” than conditions on the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
It’s the second time in two weeks that Pelosi has called the president’s remarks racist. After Trump told four female members of the House to “go back” to where they came from on July 14, the House passed a resolution, led by Pelosi, condemning Trump’s remarks as “racist.” The lawmakers, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are all women of color. Three were born in the U.S., while Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000.
Trump on Baltimore: Trump attacks Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore district as ‘far worse’ than southern border
Cummings has been a prominent Trump critic as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which recently held contentious hearings over conditions at federal detention centers along the southern border. He represents part of Baltimore and its suburbs and, according to U.S. Census data, his district is 53% black and has an average household income of $60,929.
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young issued a blistering statement to Trump, knocking him as “a disappointment” while defending Cummings as “a patriot and a hero.”
Cummings responded by stating his devotion to his constituents while asking the president to take action on lowering drug prices.
“Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors,” Cummings said in a tweet. “It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., a member of Cummings’ Oversight panel, heaped praise on the chairman.
“Cummings is a legendary coach who brings the best out of everyone,” she wrote in a tweet. “He makes the country better. You want to be on his team.”
CNN anchor defends Baltimore: Victor Blackwell gives emotional on-air defense of hometown Baltimore after Trump attacks
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., called the tweets “revolting racism” and slammed Trump as a “bigot national leader.” U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said, “If a woman of color serving in Congress talked about American communities the way the President talks about Baltimore or Chicago he would tell her to ‘go back’ to another country.” U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., added, “These are not the words of a patriot.”
CNN anchor Victor Blackwell gave a tearful on-air defense of Baltimore, his hometown.
“People get up and go to work there, they care for their families there, they love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of congressmen who support you, sir. They are Americans too,” he said Saturday morning while delivering news of Trump’s tweets.
Jenna Bush Hager, an NBC News correspondent and daughter of former Republican President George W. Bush, recounted her time teaching on Baltimore’s west side.
“I taught in West Baltimore. I adore my kids, their parents, and grandparents. They all want the same thing I want for my kids: the chance for their children to have safe, happy and productive lives. Let’s think about the language we use, who it hurts,” she wrote on Twitter.
Contributing: Nicholas Wu