The President on Saturday 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.
“If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place,” Trump wrote, arguing that Cummings’ “district is considered the Worst in the USA” and “no human being would want to live there.”
The President gave no indication of the basis of the claim but the tweets followed a segment that aired an hour earlier on Fox News, in which a Republican strategist said conditions in Cummings’ district were worse than those at the southern border.
Reaction to Trump’s tirade was swift with Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young tweeting that it was “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.”
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, two of the four Democratic congresswomen who Trump previously attacked and members of the House Oversight Committee, defended Cummings.
“Yo Trump, Hands off #ourchairman @RepCummings who is centered in American values that you will never understand. He is a fighter for the people & a leader you will never be,” Tlaib of Michigan said. “While you go on vacations & tweet, @RepCummings held a hearing on high costs of medicine just yesterday.”
Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, tweeted of Cummings: “He makes the country better. You want to be on his team.”
Other Democrats came to Baltimore’s defense on Saturday, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, whose national 2020 campaign headquarters is located there.
“Baltimore has become home to my team and it’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city,” Harris wrote on Twitter.
Fellow 2020 candidate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey tweeted in part that “this is a moral, defining moment in America,” adding, “Silence is toxic complicity.”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told CNN that Trump sending the tweets is “beyond insulting, it is disgusting.”
The Maryland chapter of the NAACP dubbed Trump’s tweets racist and called for launching impeachment proceedings into the President.
“These latest tweets reaffirm the NAACP Maryland State Conference’s position echoing the call of the National NAACP that this president must be impeached,” NAACP MSC President Gerald Stansbury said in a statement. “A nation is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, and we are ashamed of his rhetoric. America deserves a president who lifts our cities up, not one who heaps trash talk on them.”
Trump attacked Cummings on Twitter again Saturday afternoon, saying the congressman, “spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through ‘Oversight.'”
“He does NOTHING for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district!” the President wrote.
Trump concluded the tweet with the hashtag #BlacksForTrump2020 and retweeted a video purported to be of West Baltimore.
CNN’s Faris Bseiso, Sarah Jorgensen, Polo Sandoval, Nikki Carvajal and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.