U.S. President Donald Trump asked Black politician Elijah Cummings to clean his “rat and rodent infested” district after he subpoenaed the White House and Ivanka Trump.
Trump’s target in a series of early morning tweets was U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, who has called Trump a racist and sharply criticized his immigration policies. The majority African-American district has been a Democratic stronghold since 1953.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to Trump by calling Cummings a champion for civil rights and economic justice and added in a tweet, “We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership.”
Trump hit back at Pelosi Sunday saying, “Someone please explain to Nancy Pelosi, who was recently called racist by those in her own party, that there is nothing wrong with bringing out the very obvious fact that Congressman Elijah Cummings has done a very poor job for his district and the City of Baltimore.”On Thursday, the Oversight Committee voted 23-16 along party lines to allow Cummings to issue subpoenas to White House officials, including Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, deepening a probe into potential violations of government record-keeping laws.
“The Committee has obtained direct evidence that multiple high-level White House officials have been violating the Presidential Records Act by using personal email accounts, text messaging services, and even encrypted applications for official business – and not preserving those records in compliance with federal law,” Cummings said in a statement last Thursday.
Later Saturday, Trump signaled his anger with Cummings’ committee efforts, writing in another tweet that the Democrat “spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through ‘Oversight.'”
Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA……,” Trump tweeted.
“(T)he Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place,” he said.
Trump’s attack was met with a massive backlash from residents of Baltimore, who started hashtag #wearebaltimore in support of Cummings.
Last week, Cummings slammed Trump’s acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan over conditions of U.S.-Mexico border facilities that house migrants.
“You feel like you’re doing a great job, right?” Cummings asked during a congressional hearing. “What does that mean? What does that mean? When a child is sitting in their own feces, can’t take a shower? … None of us would have our children in that position.”
Cummings responded 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.”
Cummings also highlighted a letter he co-signed to the president this week expressing “profound disappointment” at his failure to work to lower drug prices.
Senator Bernie Sanders said Cummings has “been busy revealing the failures of the Trump administration and exposing the greed of Trump’s friends in the pharmaceutical industry, and our racist president doesn’t like it.”
Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young called Trump’s rhetoric “hurtful and dangerous.”
“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,” he tweeted.
Senator Elizabeth Warren called Trump’s tweets “ugly and racist. They’re purposefully designed to turn us against one another.”
Cummings represents Maryland’s 7th congressional district, which according to 2010 census data was 54.6% black, had a median household income of US$51,018, and a college graduation rate of 35.7%.
According to the same census, Maryland was the richest state in the United States, with a median household income of US$69,272. Real median household income for the United States as a whole was US$49,445 in 2010.