Trump Creates Yet Another Firestorm After Attack on Cummings

Pelosi, for the second time in less than two weeks, denounced the president’s tweets as “racist.”

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday denounced President Donald Trump’s attacks against Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) as “racist,” after the president derided Cummings’ predominantly black district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess.”

“We all reject racist attacks against [Cummings] and support his steadfast leadership,” Pelosi said, marking the second time in 11 days that the top Democrat directly labeled president’s attacks against sitting members of Congress as “racist.”

She joined an immediate and ever-widening group of Democrats on Saturday to rush to Cummings’ defense. “He makes the country better,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said. “You want to be on his team.” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) wrote that Trump’s disparaging comments about the chairman of the House Oversight Committee indicated his fear of the committee’s efforts “exposing [Trump’s] abuses of power.”

Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley were among the four congresswomen of color Trump had targeted just last week, demanding in now familiar terms, that they “go back” to their “crime-infested” countries. 

“Cumming [sic] District is a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess,” Trump had tweeted in a morning rant. “If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.” He continued, “No human being would want to live there.” 

Shortly after, Cummings responded with his own message:

In addition to elected officials, CNN anchor Victor Blackwell, a native of West Baltimore, weighed in with his shock and disgust at the president’s latest effort to denigrate a black neighborhood. In a deeply emotional moment, Blackwell called out the explicit intent behind Trump’s usage of “infested”—and reminded Trump, that when he claims that “no human” would want to reside in the places he derides, the president is insulting decent, hard-working Americans, too. 

“They love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of congressmen who support you, sir,” Blackwell said. “They are Americans, too.”

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