A Republican retreat is set to take place this year in Baltimore, home to part of the majority-black Maryland district that President Donald Trump recently targeted as “disgusting, rat and rodent infested.”
House Republicans scheduled their annual policy retreat at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel for Sept. 12-14, The Washington Post first reported. It’s typical for sitting presidents to speak at their party’s annual congressional retreat, as Trump did at last year’s gathering West Virginia.
But this year’s location could make it awkward for Trump, who repeatedly attacked Baltimore and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Twitter this past weekend. Cummings’ district includes parts of Baltimore, though the Marriott Waterfront is located just blocks outside it.
The president has faced intense backlash since Saturday for calling Cummings a “brutal bully” and his district a “rodent infested mess.” The attacks continued through Monday, when Trump blamed Cummings for Baltimore’s crime and called the Rev. Al Sharpton a “troublemaker” who “hates whites & cops” after the civil rights leader said he was going to Baltimore following the president’s Twitter tirade.
Democrats and residents of Baltimore slammed Trump for expressing disgust for an American city and its people, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned the attacks as racist.
Cummings is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has issued multiple subpoenas targeting the Trump administration. The president’s attacks came in response to Cummings’ comments on the inhumane, unsanitary conditions at the migrant detention camps along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Right before Trump’s tweets, Fox News aired a segment comparing impoverished areas in Baltimore to the border camps.
The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board published a scathing op-ed on Saturday, calling Trump “the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses” and the “useful idiot” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The president regularly attacks people of color, especially those who vocally oppose him, as part of a long history of racism. His remarks against Cummings, a black lawmaker, come on the heels of his series of attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color ― Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).