Sharpton, a longtime civil rights leader and MSNBC talk show host who spoke at a news conference in Baltimore with former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele (R), said Trump “has a particular venom for blacks and people of color.”
“He attacks Nancy Pelosi, he attacks Chuck Schumer, he attacks other whites — but he never said their districts or their states are places that no human being wants to live,” Sharpton said.
Trump sparked widespread outrage Saturday when he questioned why “so much money” is sent to Cummings’s district, which includes parts of Baltimore City and Baltimore and Howard counties. Trump described Maryland’s largest city as a “very dangerous & filthy place” where “no human being would want to live.” On Monday, he
lashed out at Sharpton
, describing him as “a con man,” “troublemaker” and someone who “Hates Whites & Cops.”
Cummings chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which has been holding an array of hearings critical of Trump administration practices, including reports of inhumane treatment at migrant detention centers. His district has sections that struggle with high poverty and crime, as well as more affluent areas, and includes famous Baltimore landmarks.
Democrats, some Republicans and many Maryland residents have widely condemned Trump for denigrating a historic, mostly black American city.
The Rev. Al Sharpton | Sharpton on Monday lambasted President Trump for his attacks on Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and the majority-black district he represents, calling Trump’s remarks “bigoted and racist.” “He attacks Nancy Pelosi, he attacks Chuck Schumer, he attacks other whites — but he never said their districts or their states are places that no human being wants to live,” he said.
Read the story (Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) (Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
Here’s what lawmakers and others are saying about President Trump’s Cummings, Baltimore remarks
Del. Cheryl D. Glenn (D-Baltimore City), the immediate past president of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, said Monday that Trump’s tweets are a “smoke bomb to cause distractions” as he seeks reelection.
“He is playing to his base to solidify this election, and I’m praying people will be smart enough to stay focused,” she said. “We all know what he said was baseless, a lie and condescending. We know who our congressman is and are proud of his work.”
At the news conference, Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman who was Maryland’s first black lieutenant governor, asked the president to visit Baltimore so that he can understand the “hard work and commitment” of the city’s residents.
“Mr. President, your reprehensible comments are like water off a duck’s back when it comes to this community,” Steele said. “It just washes over them. It does not stick to them. It does not stain them.”
Hogan received some criticism over the weekend for his muted response to Trump’s tweets, in which he said through a spokesman that “more attacks between politicians aren’t going to get us anywhere.”
Hogan said the state has taken steps to improve impoverished areas of Baltimore.
On Monday, he directly criticized Trump for the tweets during an interview on “The C4 Show” on Baltimore’s WBAL radio. The governor also noted that he had condemned the president’s recent call for four Democratic members of the House — all women of color — to “go back” to the “places from which they came.”
“You can’t find another Republican governor in America that has been more critical of the president,” Hogan told host Clarence M. Mitchell IV.
The governor’s spokesman did not respond to a request from The Washington Post to interview Hogan.
The governor focused most of his radio remarks not on Trump, but on overall divisiveness and “angry rants back and forth.”
“I think enough is enough,” Hogan said. “People are just completely fed up with this kind of nonsense, and why are we not focused on solving the problems and getting to work instead of who’s tweeting what and who’s calling who what kind of names.”
The governor said the state has taken steps to help Baltimore, including dedicating state law enforcement to help local police fight crime. And he called on both Trump and Cummings to provide the federal assistance the city needs.
But Hogan has been widely criticized by Democratic officials for policy stances they say have hurt Baltimore, including his decision in 2015 to cancel a long-planned $2.9 billion Red Line light-rail project, which he said was too costly. The state had to return $900 million in federal funds already allocated to the project.
“He’s the most powerful man in America,” said Young (D), a longtime member of the City Council who took over as mayor in May after the resignation of Catherine Pugh amid a corruption scandal. “He should be uniting this country instead of dividing this country.”
Young said Trump has not reached out to him since he became mayor. He said the city would welcome more federal assistance.
“Do we have problems? Yeah. We have problems with crime just like every other major city,” Young said. “If you want to help us, help us. You talk about wanting to make America great again, put money into cities that need it most.”
Billionaire Kevin Plank, chief executive of Under Armour, posted a video Sunday promoting Baltimore, where his company has been based for 21 years. The video Plank shared on Instagram did not mention Trump or his comments directly but instead showed glimpses of everyday life, from the classroom to the basketball court.
“We grew up in this city, made our name in this city,” the narrator says. “But there’s more we can do. . . . The world knows better than to count us out.”
The president was chided by a group of religious leaders in Maryland, who said in an open letter that Trump had “publicly slurred our beloved Baltimore” and implored him to “stop putting down people.”
The Ecumenical Leaders’ Group of Maryland, whose members pray for the president, urged Trump to end the “harmful rhetoric that angers and discourages the people and communities you are called to serve.”
Several prominent Baltimore boosters have launched a website called “We Are Baltimore,” which they say will promote positive news about the city.
“Our City, Our Baltimore — known for its irresistible charm — is so much more than sad news that lands hard and travels fast in every place,” the website’s description says. “Baltimore is more than its struggles; and we are more than alright.”
Dana Hedgpeth and Michelle Boorstein contributed to this report.