“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,” Trump tweeted, bringing the House speaker and California Democrat into the fray.
“The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people,” he continued. “Elijah Cummings has failed badly! Speaking of failing badly, has anyone seen what’s happening to Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco. It is not even recognizable lately. Something must be done before it is too late.”
The president has faced intense backlash since berating Cummings, who is black, and maligning his majority-black district that includes much of Baltimore as a “rodent infested mess” on Saturday.
As head of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings has been a leading critic of inhumane conditions at migrant detention centers along the country’s southern border.
“The Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded,” Trump claimed in his Saturday missives. “Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
Democrats and Baltimore residents bashed Trump for his comments attacking an American city and the people who live there, with Pelosi decrying them as “racist.”
“We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership,” Pelosi tweeted.
The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board tore into Trump in a searing op-ed published Saturday, calling the president “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 latest accusations of racism against Trump came less than two weeks after he suggested four Democratic congresswomen of color ― Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) “go back” to other countries.
The president’s tweet Sunday claiming that Democrats called Pelosi “racist” appeared to be a misleading reference to the reported tension between these four lawmakers ― known as “the Squad” ― and Pelosi. Ocasio-Cortez has criticized the Democratic leader but stated earlier this month that she doesn’t believe she is racist.
Asked about the tweets on Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney rejected the notion that racism had a role in Trump’s repeated singling out of minority lawmakers.
“This is what the president does. He fights and he’s not wrong to do so,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday,” insisting Trump was right to point out problems in Cummings’ district.
Mulvaney, a former congressman who represented a mostly rural district in South Carolina, added: “If I had poverty like that in my district, if I had crime like that... I’d get fired.”
But just hours later, the president himself again invoked race, posting Sunday afternoon tweets that accused Cummings of being a racist, without any substantiation for that claim.
He also tweeted that Pelosi and Cummings should be grateful for low unemployment rates among blacks, a statistic he regularly spotlights but that he touts in an oversimplified fashion.
This story has been updated with new Trump tweets.
Igor Bobic and Sanjana Karanth contributed reporting.