Outrage as Trump brands mostly black Baltimore ‘infested mess’


Sun 28 July 2019:

US president’s outburst came in a series of sharply worded tweets aimed at Elijah Cummings – a high-profile critic.

US President Donald Trump was hit with new accusations of racism on Saturday after he attacked a prominent African American congressman and branded the majority-black city of Baltimore an “infested mess”. Trump’s outburst came in a series of sharply worded tweets aimed at Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings – a high-profile critic of Trump’s administration whose district covers much of Baltimore. “Cummings District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” the president wrote, calling it “the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States”.

“No human being would want to live there,” he said – in an attack ostensibly provoked by Cummings’s criticism of the harsh conditions facing would-be asylum seekers at the Mexican border. “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,” Trump alleged.

‘Racist’ attack

The president’s morning diatribe ignited a storm of criticism, less than two weeks after the US House of Representatives condemned him for “racist” comments targeting a Somali-born congresswoman. The top Democrat in Congress, Nancy Pelosi – whose father served as mayor of Baltimore – accused Trump of a “racist” attack. “@RepCummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter. “We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership.” The Democratic mayor of Baltimore Bernard “Jack” Young – who is black – rejected Trump’s rhetoric as “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 US Representative Elijah Cummings,” Young wrote in a statement. Prominent Democratic presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, tweeted that she was “proud” to have her 2020 campaign headquarters in Cummings’s district. “It’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city,” said Harris, one of two leading black candidates in the race to succeed Trump.

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