Washington – Stepping Up Feud, Trump Assails Cummings As ‘racist’

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    Washington – Upping a feud with an influential black lawmaker, President Donald Trump on Sunday assailed Rep. Elijah Cummings as a “racist” over the “rodent-infested mess” in his district while White House aides sought to downplay his comments as frustration over Democrats’ unrelenting investigations.

    In a series of tweets, Trump insisted that his comments Saturday referring to Cummings’ majority-black district as a disgusting mess where “no human being would want to live” were not racist. On the contrary, Trump argued, “if racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership.”

    “His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” Trump added.

    His comments capped a weekend of attacks on Cummings, the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and marked the latest rhetorical shot against non-white lawmakers that have exacerbated racial tensions. Two weeks ago, Trump caused a nationwide uproar with racist tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen of color as he looked to stoke racial divisions for political gain heading into the 2020 election.

    A White House aide said Sunday that Trump, frustrated by the Democrats’ unrelenting investigations and talk of impeachment, swung hard at Cummings and his Baltimore district because he believes such Capitol Hill critics are neglecting serious problems back home in their zeal to undermine his presidency.

    Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney insisted in two national television interviews that that Trump was not making racist comments. Mulvaney, a former congressman himself, said he understood why some people could perceive Trump’s words as racist.

    Mulvaney said Trump’s words were exaggerated for effect — “Does the president speak hyperbolically? Absolutely” — and meant to draw attention to Democratic-backed investigations of the Republican president and his team in Washington.

    “Instead of helping people back home, they’re focusing on scandal in Washington D.C., which is the exact opposite of what they said they would do when they ran for election in 2018,” Mulvaney said, pointing at Democrats who now control the House.

    He asserted that Trump’s barbs were a reaction to what the president considered to be inaccurate statements by Cummings about conditions in which children are being held in detention at the U.S.-Mexico border.

    At a hearing last week, Cummings accused a top administration official of wrongly calling reports of filthy, overcrowded border facilities “unsubstantiated.”

    “When the president hears lies like that, he’s going to fight back,” Mulvaney said.

    Trump’s tweets Saturday also charged that Cummings’ district, which includes Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Social Security Administration and the national headquarters of the NAACP, is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.”

    Condemnation followed from Democrats over the weekend, including some of the party’s presidential candidates. Statements from a spokesman for Maryland’s Republican governor and from the lieutenant governor defended Cummings’ district and its people.

    Trump, unbowed, resumed the verbal volleying Sunday: “There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself. Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!”

    The president has tried to put racial polarization at the center of his appeal to his base of voters, tapping into anxieties about demographic and cultural changes in the nation in the belief that the divided country he leads will simply choose sides over issues such as race.

    Mulvaney argued that Trump would criticize any lawmaker, no matter the person’s race, in a similar way if Trump felt that individual spoke unfairly about the president’s policies. He volunteered that if Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who leads the House Intelligence Committee, had made the same remarks as Cummings, Trump would have pushed back.

    “It has zero to do with the fact that Adam is Jewish and everything to do with Adam would just be wrong if he were saying that,” Mulvaney said. “This is what the president does. He fights and he’s not wrong to do so.”

    To Mulvaney, Trump was “right to raise” the challenges faced in Cummings’ district at the same time that Cummings and other Democrats are “chasing down” the Russia investigation undertaken by Robert Mueller and pursuing “this bizarre impeachment crusade.”

    Nonetheless, the chief of staff said he understood why some people view Trump’s comments as racist, “but that doesn’t mean that it is racist.”

    “The president is pushing back against what he sees is wrong,” he added. “It’s how he’s done it in the past and he’ll continue to do it in the future.”

    Cummings is leading multiple investigations of the president’s governmental dealings. In his direct response to Trump on Twitter, Cummings said: “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”

    Cummings has also drawn the president’s ire for investigations touching on his family members serving in the White House. His committee voted along party lines Thursday to authorize subpoenas for personal emails and texts used for official business by top White House aides, including Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

    Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said Trump was engaging in “racial priming.”

    “Using this language and taking actions to try and get people to move into their camps by racial and ethnic identity. That’s how he thinks he won in 2016 and that’s how he thinks he’s going to win in 2020,” Castro said.

    Earlier this month, Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his call for Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan to get out of the U.S. “right now.” He said that if the lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries.

    All four lawmakers of color are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. The House later voted largely along party lines to condemn his “racist comments.”

    Mulvaney claimed that if he had focused on investigations when he was in Congress rather than poverty and other issues, “I’d get fired.”

    More rural than Cummings’ district, Mulvaney’s former district in South Carolina has a lower per-capita income than the one targeted by Trump, and the poverty rates are roughly the same.

    Cummings’ district is about 55% black and includes a large portion of Baltimore. The city has struggled with violent crime, with more than 300 homicides for four years in a row. It has crumbling infrastructure and a police department under federal oversight.

    Mulvaney was interviewed on “Fox News Sunday” and CBS’ “Face the Nation,” where Castro also appeared.

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    9 COMMENTS

    1. Again I have yet to hear from the naysayers if its true or not. Is Baltimore a filthy crime ridden place? Who said nay thing about race?

      Some silly arguments I heard in return
      1) Oh he is not a local official so its not his job. he represents people on a national level. Well chucky seems to stick his nose in every local issue. But aside for that, one hand washes the other. everything boils down to the people you reprsent. Its all about your local district. its just that you help out the loacl district by going national. You should try to get funds and pass laws that will get rid of your local crime. We are all on team.
      2) Kushner owns real estate so its his fault. Really a real estate developer is suppose to fix up communties? That his job? Or are we just jealous. FYI, Kushner did get a bill passed that provides subsides to build up low income neighborhoods like Baltimore so he is doing something.

      But I haven’t heard any real arguments against this. Bottom line is the city full of crime and decay? if yes do you think your rep should be busy impeaching trump or taking care of his districts problems?

      • Baltimore IS a filthy place and the POTUS job is to clean it up instead of giving the money to the Billioners and paying for Germanys (His home countrys) defense. Trump said exactly the same 4 years ago by the Baltimore riots. Its the Presidents job (Obama) to clear it up. (John Hopkins is the 3 best Hospitals in the USA and Ner Yisroel is the 3 best Yeshivos in the USA. I am still waiting for you to name a single Top Hospital or Yeshivah in Trump loving white supremacist States like Kansas, Louisiana, No Dakota , Wyoming, West Virginia etc. In effect can you even name a single Hospital in a Republican controlled City> Or a single Yeshivah. White supremacist, evangelists dont believe in these institutions. They spending their money to kill people in other countrys and put up posters on US highways preaching their false and failed religion. Please dont waste your time with your lies and Fake News that Hopkins and Ner not in Baltimore or Houston is a Rep City.

        • what a silly argument. Hospitals are near colleges. Colleges are liberals. of coirse the good hospitals are in liberal states. FYI texas has some top hospitals too but OK. Yeshivas are near frum communties. Frum communites have been established 100 years ago when liberals were good people. Now its hard to get up and move them. Facts are people ar elooking to do business and are move to more red states. Frum yidden won’t invest a penny in NY real estate any more.

          You cook up such narisha shtusim.

      • Esther following Educated HMMMM? Mr/Mrs Educated Ester FYI Not every single supporter of Trump is a Racist, but every SINGLE racist in the USA supports Trump. That alone should be a good reason for a Frumme Yide not to support Trump. Hitler ym”s did not start with the yiden at first. Gypsis, socialists etc than the jew.

        • That’s funny, I didn’t know that Sharpton, Tlaib, etc., started supporting Trump. When did this happen? Or is your definition of “every SINGLE racist” something other than “every SINGLE racist”?

        • Not every dem is leftist jew hater but every left jew hater is a dem. Whats your point? Both sides attract a few crazies.

          Hitler ym”s did not start with the yiden at first
          Thats a lie of course he did. Stop making up lies.

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