WASHINGTON, D.C.: United States President Donald Trump on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) denigrated a majority-black district represented by a congressional nemesis as a “disgusting, rat-and rodent-infested mess,” broadening a campaign against prominent critics of his administration that has exacerbated racial tensions.
Trump lashed out in tweets against Rep. Elijah Cummings, the powerful House Oversight Committee chairman, claiming his Baltimore-area district was “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.”
It was the President’s latest assault on a prominent lawmaker, and the people he represents, two weeks after he sparked nationwide controversy with racist tweets directed at four congresswomen of color.
Trump called Cummings a “brutal bully” after his public tongue-lashing of top Homeland Security officials over conditions for migrants detained along the southern border.
Cummings replied directly to Trump on Twitter, saying, “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
“Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through ‘Oversight,’” Trump tweeted. “He does NOTHING for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district!”
Cummings’ district is about 55 percent black and includes a large portion of Baltimore. It is home to the national headquarters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The city has struggled with violent crime, with more than 300 homicides for four years in a row. It has crumbling infrastructure and a police department under federal oversight.
Cummings’ district also extends into Maryland’s Baltimore and Howard counties.