Trump’s attendance could elate GOP lawmakers still licking their wounds from last fall’s midterm shellacking by the Democrats, who took the House majority. But it could also spark protests from residents and local leaders who are still simmering over Trump’s attacks on their city and don’t want him there.
Trump’s offensive on Baltimore started in late July, when he took to Twitter to accuse Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the House Oversight Committee chairman, of being a “brutal bully.” Cummings’s panel has unearthed deficiencies in the administration, including shortfalls in the security-clearance process at the White House and concerns about Trump’s decision to give his son-in-law Jared Kushner access to the nation’s top secrets.
Cummings has also been investigating whether Trump has tried to enrich himself while in office by steering business to his hotels.
But Trump didn’t limit his attacks to the Baltimore congressman; he decried the entire area Cummings represents — a predominantly black constituency — as being “dangerous & filthy” and a place “no human being would want to live.”
City officials pushed back on Trump’s comments forcefully. Cummings, a vocal critic of Trump’s, invited him to visit to dispel his assumptions about the city.
Now, Trump will — albeit not with Cummings.