Kushner is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and is a senior White House adviser. He owns more than a dozen apartment complexes in Baltimore County that have been cited for hundreds of code violations and, critics say, provide substandard housing to lower-income tenants.
In an investigation by the New York Times and Pro Publica published in 2017, tenants of Kushner properties reported mouse infestations, mold problems and maggots. A private investigator who looked into Kushner’s property management company described the managers as “slumlords.”
Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Kushner firm, asserted at the time that the group was in compliance with all state and local laws. Then-Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said that was “a stretch of truth.”
In recent days, Trump has escalated his attacks on Baltimore and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), who has been spearheading investigations into Trump’s administration and whose district includes parts of the city. Trump began by tweeting Saturday that Cummings represents a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and that “no human being would want to live there.” The president lashed out anew on Tuesday, calling the city “corrupt” and saying its residents are “living in hell.”
Pelosi has pushed back forcefully against Trump’s remarks. Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., was a U.S. congressman representing parts of Baltimore and later was elected mayor of the city. Pelosi’s brother, Thomas J. D’Alesandro III, also went on to serve as Baltimore’s mayor.
“To see the president demean a great leader like Elijah Cummings shows his own insecurity and his own lack of understanding about what progress really is,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday.
She added that Cummings “is a pride of Baltimore,” and that “it’s always a great source of pride” to go to the city.
Asked about Pelosi’s remarks before heading to a campaign rally in Ohio, Trump told reporters outside the White House that he does not believe Kushner has any responsibility for the situation in the city.
“I think the responsibility is the people that have run Baltimore for so many years, obviously headed up by Elijah Cummings,” Trump said.
Rebecca Tan contributed to this report.