In a series of tweets Monday morning resuming his three-day Twitter barrage of civil rights leader Rep. Elijah Cummings, which critics say is a continuation of the president’s recent pattern of overt racism meant to divide the country, Trump also took shots at 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton.
Sanders fired back at the president over Twitter, saying that while he has been “fighting to lift the people of Baltimore and elsewhere out of poverty with good paying jobs, housing and health care,” Trump has been “attacking workers and the poor.”
Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that is probing the president’s administration for multiple allegations of corruption, and his home city of Baltimore.
In a tweet Monday morning, the president accused Sharpton, who traveled to Baltimore on Monday, of being a “con man” who “Hates Whites & Cops!”
“Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull,” Trump tweeted Monday. “Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!”
Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull…Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2019
In yet another tweet, Trump asked why Sanders was not labeled a racist when in December 2015, after a visit to the city’s West Baltimore section, the Vermont senator said that “you would think that you were in a third-world country.”
Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard! The fact is, Baltimore can be brought back, maybe……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2019
Trump’s feud with Baltimore and Cummings began on Saturday with a series of tweets in which the president referred to the Oversight chairman’s district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
Echoing a segment that had aired earlier in the day on “Fox & Friends,” Trump questioned whether Cummings was a hypocrite for condemning the living conditions at U.S. migrant detention centers on the southern border with Mexico while his home district languishes.
“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 wrote, without citing any statistics.
The president’s critics have flown to Cummings’ defense, claiming that Trump targeted the congressman because he is black and is leading multiple investigations into the president’s administration and businesses.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is from Baltimore, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, both denounced the president’s attacks on Cummings over the weekend.
Most Republican lawmakers have remained silent on the matter, unwilling to criticize Trump for his recent escalation of rhetoric against minority Democratic lawmakers.
Earlier this month, all but four House Republicans voted against a resolution condemning Trump’s racist tweets telling four minority, first-term Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to “the crime infested countries from which they came.” Three were born in the U.S. and are American citizens, and the fourth, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, moved to the U.S. from Somalia as a refugee and was naturalized as a teenager.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday, GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida declined to denounce Trump’s tweets against Cummings, encapsulating the general Republican tactic to deal with the fallout from the weekend.
“I didn’t do the tweets Chuck, I can’t talk about why he did what he did,” Scott said. “But I am disappointed in people like Congressman Cummings who are attacking border patrol agents.”
After being widely labeled a racist by pundits and Democrats, Trump attempted to turn the tables by suggesting that his critics, themselves, were racist, including Cummings.
“If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership,” Trump wrote, without elaborating on why he deemed Cummings racist.
If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical “oversight” is a joke!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2019
Cummings has largely avoided being dragged into an online confrontation with Trump, issuing a series of tweets on Saturday saying it is his “moral duty” to fight for his constituents and asking the president to help him hammer through legislation to lower prescription drug prices.
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.
“Mr. President, we can address this together,” Cummings wrote of tackling runaway drug prices, a key item on his agenda since he took the Oversight Committee gavel in January.