- President Donald Trump spent Saturday morning tweeting attacks against Representative Elijah Cummings and his home city of Baltimore, saying “no human being would want to live there.”
- Trump’s tweets came minutes after a “Fox & Friends” segment aired on the subject of Cummings and Baltimore.
- The president seemingly quoted directly from the “Fox & Friends” segment, suggesting his tweets were incited by the on-air discussion itself, and the comparison drawn between the US-Mexico border and Baltimore by a conservative commentator.
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President Donald Trump spent early Saturday morning tweeting attacks against Representative Elijah Cummings and the district of Baltimore, which he represents. The tweets corresponded with a simultaneously airing “Fox & Friends” segment, and quotes that match the president’s tweets suggest the on-air discussion directly incited Trump’s attacks.
Trump’s tweets match the order of the segment, as the president first tweeted “Rep, [sic] Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border.”
Trump’s tweet corresponds with a clip shown at the beginning of the “Fox & Friends” segment of Cummings questioning Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
“You feel like you’re doing a great job, right? Is that what you’re saying,” Cummings is shown saying in the clip, from the hearing on treatment of migrant children at the US-Mexico border, on “Fox & Friends.”
“We’re doing our level best in a challenging situation,” McAleenan responds in the clip, to which Cummings says “What does that mean? Come on, man.”
“But what about the abandoned homes, piles of trash, and higher murder rate in his own district of Baltimore?” a “Fox & Friends” anchor asked next on air. “Our next guest went there and said it’s worse than conditions at the border.”
After a commercial break, Saturday morning’s “Fox & Friends” segment returned to the topic of Cummings and Baltimore, with an anchor saying “Democrats like Congressman Elijah Cummings say they care about how migrants are treated at the border. What about the families and people in their own district?”
The anchor continued to say “Congressman Cummings was elected to represent west Baltimore. Living conditions at the border are better than most areas in his district. The city is lined with abandoned buildings and trash on the streets.”
“Fox & Friends” then brought on Republican political commentator Kimberly Klacik, a Maryland resident, who described Baltimore as “the most dangerous district in America,” and said residents she talked to complained of “abandoned row homes filled with trash,” along with cockroaches and rodents.
“Why doesn’t he go into his district and take a look at the conditions?” Klacik asked on air. “I think obviously there is a crisis at the border but there’s a crisis in his backyard and he should really pay attention.”
In the same tweet, posted within minutes after the segment aired, Trump also wrote “when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA……”
Trump then replied to his own tweet with “….As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
Members of congress who visited border detention facilities last week are calling for immediate changes to conditions, citing “serious concerns” affecting the people detained at the US-Mexico border.
Then, Trump tweeted “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. No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”
As noted by Media Matters senior fellow Matthew Gertz on Twitter, this may not be the first time Trump was inspired by a simultaneous “Fox & Friends” segment while tweeting. He pointed out that the president’s racist tweets about freshman congresswomen from two weeks ago also corresponded with on-air “Fox & Friends” discussion about the same issue.
Note that Trump's racist tweets about the progressive Democratic congresswomen were also triggered by a Fox & Friends segment. https://t.co/xZm16ANpSU
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) July 27, 2019
Cummings responded later Saturday morning to Trump’s attack on Twitter, saying “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbours. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
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.
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 27, 2019
He continued in a thread to say that “Just yesterday, I held a hearing on the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs and the financial hardships that families across the nation, and in Baltimore, are facing.”
“Mr. President, we can address this together. 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.”
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.https://t.co/bcfyQgXwm4
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 27, 2019
Cummings ended his thread with a link to a press release on his and other Democrats’ open letter to Trump expressing disappointing that he had not worked with them to lower drug prices for Medicare, saying in the tweet that “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.”
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