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Elijah Cummings Cites 'Moral Duty' to Voters After Trump 'Rat-Infested' Attack
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=29504"><span class="small">Martin Pengelly, Guardian UK</span></a>   
Sunday, 28 July 2019 08:35

Pengelly writes: "Donald Trump kicked off his weekend with a stinging attack on Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chair of the House oversight committee, that opponents including House speaker Nancy Pelosi said was another example of the president deploying racist invective for political ends."

Elijah Cummings delivers a press conference following Robert Mueller's testimony this week. (photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
Elijah Cummings delivers a press conference following Robert Mueller's testimony this week. (photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Elijah Cummings Cites 'Moral Duty' to Voters After Trump 'Rat-Infested' Attack

By Martin Pengelly, Guardian UK

28 July 19


onald Trump kicked off his weekend with a stinging attack on Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chair of the House oversight committee, that opponents including House speaker Nancy Pelosi said was another example of the president deploying racist invective for political ends.

Apparently responding to the Fox News magazine show Fox & Friends, the president called Cummings a “brutal bully” and said his congressional district was both “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and “the worst run and most dangerous [district] anywhere in the United States”.

In response, Cummings said that though it was his “constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the executive branch”, it was his “moral duty” to fight for his constituents.

Cummings, who is African American, represents Maryland’s seventh congressional district, covering parts of Baltimore and neighbouring counties. The district is majority African American and has been held by Democrats since 1953.

According to the US Census Bureau the seventh, like many districts in the US, has problems with unemployment and poverty. It also has problems with gun-related crime.

The district also includes suburban areas, in one of which Trump’s housing and urban development secretary, Ben Carson, has a home.

Trump said Cummings should “help clean up this very dangerous and filthy place”. Some observers linked his tweets to widely condemned remarks he reportedly made in the Oval Office last year, calling El Salvador, Haiti and some African nations “shithole countries”.

The president later doubled down on his attacks, accusing Cummings of doing “nothing but milk Baltimore dry”.

Furthermore, the president’s vitriolic attack on a senior African American Democrat came two weeks after he told four Democratic congresswomen of colour they should “go back” to the countries they came from. Only one of the congresswomen was not born in the US and all are American citizens.

Critics observed that Trump’s attacks on “the Squad” were meant to mobilise his base and force Democrats to defend progressives who advocate policies possibly unpopular in swing states in next year’s election.

Responding to Trump on Saturday, Cummings also drew attention to a hearing on Friday about “skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs and the financial hardships that families across the nation, and in Baltimore, are facing”. Trump should work with him on the problem, he said.

Pelosi voiced support for Cummings, saying: “We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership.”

Campaigning for the presidential nomination in New Hampshire, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren said Trump’s “racist tweets” were “beyond insulting. It is disgusting. This president brings shame to himself and to the White House.”

Baltimore’s mayor, Jack Young, called Trump “a disappointment to the people” of his city and to “our country, and to the world”. Cummings, he said, was a “patriot and a hero”.

The president of the Maryland State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Gerald Stansbury, said Trump should be impeached, as “America deserves a president who lifts our cities up, not one who heaps trash talk on them”.

Trump called Cummings a bully for, he said, “shouting and screaming at the great men and women of Border Patrol about conditions at the southern border”.

“His Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous,” Trump said, calling it without offering evidence “the Worst in the USA”.

The Fox & Friends segment Trump appeared to have watched showed Cummings questioning the US Customs and Border Protection commissioner and acting homeland security secretary, Kevin McAleenan, this month. On Thursday, Cummings told reporters the treatment of migrant children at the southern border was “government-sponsored child abuse”.

Characteristically, the president also advocated an investigation of a political foe.

“Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States,” he said, still without offering evidence to back up his claim. “No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”

On Friday, Trump again suggested his predecessor in the Oval Office, Barack Obama, should be investigated as he himself has been.

Cummings is part of a House leadership that has not rushed to impeach Trump, as more than 100 Democrats in the House now advocate. But after Wednesday’s testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller, about his report on Russian election interference, links between Trump and Moscow and possible obstruction of justice, Cummings made a passionate statement.

“I’m begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on,” he said. “Because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children, and your children’s children, and generations yet unborn we’ve got to guard this moment … This is our watch.”

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-4 # skylinefirepest 2019-07-28 12:57
Now what the hell is racist about telling the truth...baltimo re is full of rats...don't believe me? Go take a look!
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-28 16:58
sky -- I live in Washington DC and work in Baltimore. There are more rats in Washington than in Baltimore. Rats of all kinds.
-1 # tsyganka 2019-07-30 17:44
Some of those rats have been filmed eating slices of pizza. The biggest rat squats in the WH and eats cheeseburgers. The pizza-eating rats have more integrity.
0 # economagic 2019-07-28 21:17
If I have to explain it to you, you would not understand.
-1 # tsyganka 2019-07-30 17:41
Cummings' district is one of the best in Baltimore. It shares, however, a zip code (but not district number) with a part of Baltimore where apartments run by a slumlord have MAGGOTS IN THE CARPETS, leaky ceilings, black mold, rats, garbage, etc. These apartments are celled The Cove and are owned by guess-who's sleazy son-in-law JARED KUSHNER.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-07-28 13:58
Trump should learn to keep his mouth shut or to resist twittering whenever he wants to insult anyone. I think this is probably one of the main reasons why so many people don't like him. He's too abrasive.

I've worked in Baltimore for about 25 years. I know the city well and I've met Cummings many times. My office is just a few blocks from his. He is supported by the white citizens of Baltimore City and County but not its African American majority. Baltimore City is a majority black community and one of the hardest hit cities by post-industrial ism. It is in desperate condition. Cummings and other politicians have not done anything for the African-America n Majority of citizens ever. All the money goes into white areas and the county where the affluent people live.

Baltimore is arranged in a quite easy to read manner. There's a four or five block wide strip that runs from the Inner Harbor tourist and financial area, along Charles Street, through the Arts and Entertainment district, past Hopkins University all the way to Towson. This is where the affluent live and where Cummins' office is. On either side of this strip is the bombed out wreckage of post-industrial America - the areas that Cummings ignores.

Baltimore does need better politicians but Trump is not one of those. Cummings is not one of those either.
-3 # BKnowswhitt 2019-07-29 01:51
Cummings is full of shit just like the current day Dem Party. You try to break into a country .. that is B & E .. and then you complain about the conditions .. this isn't even jail. Dems played a Big Role in their Hate Trump Mantra .. via USA left wing media all spring provoking them to the USA Border .. OBumma had exact same policies .. then when they came .. Blame Trump for upholding USA Customs and Immigration Law .. Cummings badgered the Admin Head panel to Congress .. T had every right to put Cummings in his place .. and this issue has ZERO to do with Race ..
+1 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-07-29 12:29
Trump puts everyone on the defensive. It's an old trick. Just like the fascists who create a problem and then claim they are the only one who can fix it.
Maybe the Democrats can actually nominate someone who can beat this asshole in 2020.
-1 # BKnowswhitt 2019-07-29 14:36
Ah they are big assholes with no depth .. of any kind or real morality as is this phoney F' ...
-2 # skylinefirepest 2019-07-29 16:39
Maybe they can but I don't know...whoever the left picks will raise our taxes, give more money to people who aren't citizens, ignore our veterans, put more gun control on already law abiding citizens, etc. And if you haven't noticed...all the leaders of the pack have been in politics for MANY YEARS and haven't bothered to solve any problems...but now they're going to? You're kidding, right? Trump may be a slob but the country is working...somet hing it doesn't do well under liberals, by the way.
0 # tsyganka 2019-07-30 17:50
According to one-on-one "face off" polls, any of the top 4 Dem candidates can beat fascist trump. However, only one has been long-term promoting the policies that we need for a NEW direction - away from the oppressive, dog-eat-dog capitalist status quo - and that person is Bernie Sanders.
0 # dotlady 2019-07-29 22:47
Isn't it interesting that people are saying that Trump's son-in-law is known as a slumlord in Baltimore with many violations charged against his real estate companies and holding companies. I wonder if there are rats involved with his properties or former properties?
0 # tsyganka 2019-07-30 17:56
I recently saw an article that said Kuchner's company (JK Westminister, I think) has anonymous investors behind it - some say China, others say Russia - and sleazy little Jared ain't saying Squat about it.

It would be lovely to have Trump, Pence, and Kushner all removed from office at the same time (peacefully and legally, of course).