BALTIMORE -- After a week of President Donald Trump leveling criticisms of Baltimore and U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the congressman said he would welcome the president to come visit.
"I'd love for him to sit down and talk to the doctors at Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland and see the beautiful neighborhoods of our city, and I'd be happy to have him," Cummings said at a community event near his Baltimore home Saturday.
Trump sparked a sharp reaction from many Baltimore residents and political figures when he tweeted July 27 that Baltimore was a "rat and rodent infested mess." He continued for several days to tweet criticisms of Cummings, calling the Democrat "racist" and claiming falsely that Baltimore's "corrupt government" had stolen billions from U.S. support sent to cities.
Cummings spoke to news media about the incident for the first time Saturday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a community park in the Druid Heights community, several blocks from his home.
The congressman described residents of the 7th Congressional District as a "strong people."
"You'll see people (and) organizations that have come to the inner city of Baltimore, like in neighborhoods like this, and did not go around criticizing, but said 'How can we help,' " Cummings said of his district.
Trump has attacked the majority-black city of Baltimore since Saturday as part of his tirade against Cummings.
Cummings' House Committee on Oversight and Reform has voted to subpoena senior White House officials, including Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for their communications via private email accounts and messaging apps. Last month, Cummings strongly criticized Kevin McAleenan, head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, for the living conditions of child migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The president's comments on Baltimore became a punchline in his Thursday night campaign rally in Cincinnati. Trump appeared to muse sarcastically that the homicide rate in Baltimore was significantly higher than several countries.
And on Friday, after Cummings said that he scared away an intruder who broke into his Baltimore home last weekend, Trump alluded to the incident in tweeting, "Really bad news! The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed. Too bad!"
(Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this report.)
(c)2019 The Baltimore Sun
Visit The Baltimore Sun at www.baltimoresun.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.