United States President Donald Trump on Saturday lashed out at African-American Congressman Elijah E Cummings, one of his strident critics, on Saturday, calling him “a brutal bully” who represents a Baltimore district that has become a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live”.
The president insinuated that the Congressman was a hypocrite for criticising the conditions in migrant detention centres at the country’s southwestern border when his own district was in a poor shape. The criticism of the House Oversight and Reform Committee chairperson came hours after the Fox news channel ran a segment criticising Cummings on similar lines.
“Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men [and] women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is far worse and more dangerous,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “His district is considered the worst in the USA...”
Trump said the border was clean, efficient and well-run, citing a Congressional tour. “Cummings district is a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess,” the president said. “If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous [and] filthy place.”
Trump questioned why so much money was being sent to Cummings’ district when “it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States”.
“No human being would want to live there,” said the US president. “Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”
Trump continued his criticism of Cummings by tweeting a video posted by comedian Terrence K Williams. “Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through ‘Oversight’,” Trump said. “He does nothing for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district!”
The president said it was said that Baltimore ranked last in almost every major category. “Cummings has done nothing but milk Baltimore dry, but the public is getting wise to the bad job that he is doing!” he added.
Cummings responded to the president in a series of tweets. “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors,” the Congressman said. “It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
Cummings raised the matter of high prices of prescription drugs. “Two years ago, I went to the White House to ask you to endorse my bill to let the government negotiate directly for lower drug prices,” he said. “You told me then that you supported the legislation and that you would work with me to make it happen. I took you at your word.”