Trump tweeted Saturday morning that Baltimore was a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” saying that “no human being would want to live there.”
The President suggested that conditions in Cummings’ district, which is majority black and includes parts of Baltimore, are “FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than those at the US-Mexico border and called it a “very dangerous & filthy place.”
The city’s leaders and residents were quick to defend it. The Twitter hashtag #wearebaltimore was trending Saturday night, with users posting pictures and comments expressing their pride in the city.
“It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American City like Baltimore, and to viciously attack U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero,” Baltimore’s Mayor Jack Young said in a tweeted statement.
“And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the median income is actually above the national average,” the board wrote.
“Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”
And while they defended their city, some had criticisms for President Trump himself.
“It should be beneath the dignity of the President of the United States, the person who is supposed to be the leader of the free world, to disparage and personally attack a great American city and another great American leader,” Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott told reporters Saturday. “Instead of up upholding his oath of office to put the greater good of all American citizens, no matter where they live and who they voted for above all else, that he decided to do the opposite.”
Many of the elected officials who spoke out praised Rep. Cummings for his help in the recent developments the district has undertaken, though they acknowledge there is still more work to do.
“We stand ready and willing to work with the President, if he is willing to go beyond tweets, to help us solve some of the problems that are deep enrooting in Baltimore’s history,” Scott said.
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.