FLASHBACK: Resurfaced video shows Elijah Cummings calling Baltimore ‘drug infested,’ likening residents to ‘zombies’
When President Donald Trump says a town is infested with drugs, MS-13, or with rats it’s racist, but now here’s Elijah Cummings describing this same community in a very similar way in a newly resurfaced video.
The Daily Caller reports the resurfaced video comes as President Donald Trump has been accused of racism for referring to Baltimore as “rodent infested” and a place that no human would want to live. Trump partially blamed Cummings, who has represented part of Baltimore for over 20 years, for the conditions in the major Maryland city.
Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings in 1999: "This morning I left my community of Baltimore, a DRUG INFESTED area" where people are "walking around like zombies." pic.twitter.com/MGUDfXL7UC
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) July 31, 2019
“This morning, I left my community of Baltimore — a drug-infested area where a lot of the drugs we are talking about today have already taken the lives of so many children,” he said. “The same children that I watched 14 or 15 years ago as they grew up, now walking around like zombies.”
Now here’s what Trump said just the other day:
Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
….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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
“Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA. … 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.”
You tell me which one is racist?
Has Baltimore has gotten any better under Cummings’ watch does it? 20 years go by and the place is still like a “third world country”. Oh yeah, Bernie Sanders said that.
In related news… Elijah Cummings does not want to go to Baltimore anymore: Cummings was invited to tour a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) facility in Baltimore on Wednesday with HUD Sec. Ben Carson, but declined the offer.
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) July 31, 2019
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., responded to the old footage by asking whether Cummings himself was racist.
Obviously racist… Right? Those are the rules! https://t.co/W3eX54ellK
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 31, 2019
Trump also called Baltimore ‘about the worst case’ of inner-city violence across the country and beyond.
‘If you look at it statistically, it’s like, the number of shootings, the number of crimes, the number of everything,’ Trump said. ‘This morning I heard a statistic, Baltimore is worse than Honduras, okay?’
The comparison between the city and the southern American country have previously been made by conservative news sites and commentators, despite the statistical difficulties of comparing rates of an entire country to that of a singular city.
Baltimore’s total population is around 620,000, while Honduras is home to more than nine million people.
In 2017, Baltimore’s homicide rate registered at 56 people per 100,000. Where as in Honduras in 2018, the homicide rate was 42.8 per 100,000.
The country saw a record of 85 per-hundred-thousand in 2011, according to the Washington Post.
Founder of conservative youth organization Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk, tweeted about the statistics on Monday, remarking that asylum seekers from Honduras ‘would be more safe staying home than they would be in Democrat-controlled, American cities.’
Trump blasted Cummings for representing a ‘corrupt’ city, telling reporters outside the White House that Baltimore residents were ‘living in hell’. Trump then blamed Cummings for what he described as fraudulently wasting ‘billions and billions’ of dollars of federal aid that was sent to rejuvenate Baltimore.
Trump insisted the ‘wasted’ and ‘stolen’ apparent sum of $15 billion could’ve been better spent building ’20 brand-new cities’ elsewhere. ‘I’m pointing out the tremendous corruption that’s taken place in Baltimore and other Democrat-run cities,’ the Republican president said. ‘All you have to do is look at the past mayors in Baltimore to see what happened.
‘The money that’s been spent, the billions and billions and billions of dollars … And as you know, Congressman Cummings, he has been the leader, the one that tried to get a lot of this money. He is one of the reasons the money was sent there … Baltimore is a mess, and I want to help the people.’
The City’s Democratic Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young branded the president’s remarks a far cry from the truth.
‘We know that this president often does not rely on the truth, so we’re not going to dignify nonsense with a response,’ said Young’s spokesman Lester Davis to the Baltimore Sun. ‘It’s just patently false.’
The White House has not yet comment on the president’s remarks, but it has cited a number of news stories highlighting the previous legal troubles of former Democratic mayors Catherine Pugh and Sheila Dixon.
Pugh resigned in May following an investigation for selling self-published books to institutions with business before the city.
Dixon resigned the following year in a plea agreement relation to a corruption investigation.
Speaking on Tuesday the president attempted to associate Cummings with both Dixon and Scarlett.
‘He’s seen these mayors get thrown out, thrown out, thrown out, thrown out. They’re all friends of his,’ he said.
Trump both laid blame for the supposed misspending on Cummings and suggested he use the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which Cummings chairs, to investigate Baltimore.
‘It’s been misspent. It’s missing. It’s been stolen with a lot of corrupt government. And as you know, Cummings has been in charge,’ Trump said. ‘Now, I will say this: I think that Representative Cummings should take his oversight committee and start doing oversight on Baltimore. He’d find out some real things.’
Trump offered his Opportunity Zones, criminal justice reform and economic policies as examples of the steps he’s taken to aide African Americans living in the area.
‘But they’re so happy that I pointed out the corrupt politics of Baltimore. It’s filthy dirty. It’s so horrible. And they are happy as hell,’ he said.
Over the last five years, Baltimore has received at total of $903 million in federal grants for operating and capital expenses, according to city budget documents.
In the same time frame, the federal government also provided $1.1 billion to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, according to USASpending.gov.
Cummings’ congressional district has received just under $15.7 billion in grants, benefits and contracts from the federal government over the past two fiscal years, according to the federal government website.