‘I’m pointing out the tremendous corruption that’s taken place…’
(Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun) President Donald Trump Tuesday alleged billions of dollars in federal aid to Baltimore has been “wasted” and “stolen,” continuing his days-long criticism of the city and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.
The Maryland Congressman has been accused of using his powerful position as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to financially benefit a nonprofit organization run by his wife.
Trump spoke briefly to reporters as he prepared to leave the White House en route to a historical commemoration in Jamestown, Virginia.
“I’m pointing out the tremendous corruption that’s taken place in Baltimore and other Democrat-run cities,” the Republican president said.
Trump alleged that “billions and billions” of money has been wasted and stolen in Baltimore.
Trump said that he’s gotten feedback from Baltimore residents who have thanked him for speaking out.
“People have called from Baltimore thanking me so much because all that money … has been stolen and wasted,” Trump said.
“They’re so happy that I pointed out the corrupt politics of Baltimore. It’s filthy, dirty, it’s so horrible and they are happy as hell,” the president said.
Asked if he would visit Baltimore, Trump responded: “At the right time, I’ll visit.”
He did not say when the “right time” would be.
Trump also touted low unemployment rates for African-American workers, the creation of federal “Opportunity Zones” to spur investment in impoverished communities and his efforts at criminal justice reform.
Trump has been blasting Baltimore and Cummings — mostly on Twitter — since Saturday morning.
The president has called Cummings’ district, which includes a large swath of Baltimore and stretches into the suburbs, “disgusting, rat and rodent infested.” The president also said “no human being would want to live there.”
Trump continued to post tweets critical of Baltimore and the congressman on Sunday and Monday.
Cummings, a Democrat, has stoked Trump’s ire because he repeatedly attacked the Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security over allegedly poor conditions as the US-Mexico border. During an Oversight Committee hearing last week he repeatedly cut off DHS Sec. Kevin McAleenan when he tried to explain the border situation.
Cummings’s committee also has been investigating the president on multiple fronts. The congressman also recently said in an interview that he believes the president is racist.
Many Baltimore politicians and activists quickly rose to defend Maryland’s largest city and condemn the president. Some have accused the president of being racist in his remarks.
The hashtag “#WeAreBaltimore” began trending over the weekend, and a group of city boosters launched a website of the same name with the goal of collecting positive stories about the city.
©2019 The Baltimore Sun. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Liberty Headlines editor Paul Chesser contributed.