Donald Trump has attacked a majority-black district represented by an African-American lawmaker as a ‘disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess’.
Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the president of ‘racist attacks’ after a stream of tweets targeting congress critic representative Elijah Cummings.
Mr Trump lashed out at the powerful House Oversight Committee chairman, claiming his Baltimore-area district in Maryland, US, is ‘considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States’.
Ms Pelosi was among Democrats to slam the tweets, saying Mr Cummings was a ‘champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague’.
She added: ‘We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership.’
It was the president’s latest assault on a prominent politician, two weeks after he sparked nationwide controversy with racist tweets directed at four congresswomen – telling them to ‘go back’ to where they came from.
In his recent Twitter tirade, Mr Trump called Mr Cummings a ‘brutal bully’ after he condemned Homeland Security officials over conditions for migrants detained along the southern border.
The president wrote: ‘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.(sic)’
Mr Cummings replied directly to Mr Trump 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.’
On Thursday Mr Cummings’ committee voted along party lines to authorise subpoenas for personal emails and texts used for official business by top White House aides, including the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
After spending several hours on his private golf course in Virginia, Mr Trump repeated the attack on Mr Cummings, despite facing broad criticism.
He ranted: ‘Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through “Oversight”.
‘He does NOTHING for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district!’
Baltimore mayor Bernard C ‘Jack’ Young fired back at Mr Trump after his attacks, saying he is a ‘disappointment to the people of Baltimore, our country, and to the world’.
Later on Saturday Trump tweeted to say that he wanted to ban Antifa and designate it as a terrorist organisation.
Antifa – which stands for anti-facists – is not a formal organisation, but rather a loose collection of protest groups fighting against the far-right.
Antifa is known for its use of direct action, which can include property damage, physical violence and harassment against those they view as fascist.
Members of the movement have often clashed with Trump supporters.
He tweeted yesterday: ‘Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others).’
The president added: ‘Would make it easier for police to do their job!’
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