A CNN host from Baltimore grew emotional on-air as he defended his hometown after President Donald Trump called the city ‘a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.’
Anchor Victor Blackwell, a Baltimore native, teared up as he rebuked Trump for his remarks earlier on Saturday criticizing Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose district includes much of Baltimore.
Blackwell blasted Trump for using the term ‘infested,’ saying that the president often uses the term to criticize non-whites.
‘The president says about congressman Cummings’ district that no human would want to live there. You know who did, Mr. President? I did,’ said Blackwell, choking up live on air. ‘From the day I was brought home from the hospital, to the day I left for college and a lot of people I care about still do. There are challenges, no doubt. But people are proud of their community.’
CNN anchor Victor Blackwell, a Baltimore native, emotionally rebuked Trump on air
Trump slammed Baltimore in a series of tweets on Saturday morning before heading to Trump National Golf Course in Sterling, Virginia
‘I don’t want to sound self-righteous, but people get up and go to work there, they care for their families there, they love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of congressmen who support you, sir. They are Americans too,’ he concluded, tearing up as he threw to a commercial break.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led elected Democrats in denouncing Trump’s remarks, saying in a statement, ‘We all reject racist attacks against [Cummings] and support his steadfast leadership.’
David Simon, the creator of the famed HBO series The Wire about crime and law enforcement in Baltimore, also slammed Trump.
‘If this empty-suit, race-hating fraud had to actually visit West Baltimore for five minutes and meet any of the American citizens who endure there, he’d wet himself,’ Simon wrote in a tweet.
On Saturday morning, Trump in a series of tweets tore into Cummings for comments slamming immigration officials, following segment on Fox and Friends contrasting Cumming’s concern for migrants at the border with conditions in his own district.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (above) led elected Democrats in denouncing Trump’s remarks, saying in a statement, ‘We all reject racist attacks against [Cummings]’
‘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,’ Trump wrote.
‘As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming [sic] 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,’ the president continued.
Trump added: ‘Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.
‘No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!’
Cummings fired back in his own tweets soon after: ‘Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors.’
President Donald Trump has slammed Rep. Elijah Cummings (above) as ‘a brutal bully,’ saying that the congressman’s Baltimore district is a ‘rat and rodent infested mess’
It comes a week after Cummings exploded at Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan over conditions in facilities used to detain migrants and house unaccompanied migrant children at the southern border.
‘What does that mean, when a child is sitting in their own feces, can’t take a shower!’ Cummings shouted at McAleenan in the July 18 hearing. ‘Come on man, what’s that about?’
Cummings’ remarks were highlighted in a segment on Fox and Friends on Saturday morning, which Trump possibly watched from the White House.
In the segment, Kimberly Klacik, a Republican strategist from Baltimore, spoke about appalling conditions that residents in parts of the city face.
‘There is a crisis at the border, but there is also a crisis in Baltimore,’ Klacik said. ‘Congressman Cummings represents the most dangerous district in America.’
‘There’s abandoned row homes filled with trash, homeless addicts, empty needles that they have used, and it’s really right next door so it’s attracting cockroaches, rodents, you name it,’ said Klacik.
‘So to have Congressman Cummings talk about conditions at the border is just laughable, because of the conditions in his own district, and a lot of people say he hasn’t even been there in a while,’ she continued.
Klacik had recent posted a series of videos on Twitter of a visit to West Baltimore and her conversations with residents pleading for help dealing with vacant and abandoned homes, trash and poor water service.
In one area, residents were using water siphoned from a fire hydrant after regular water service apparently went out on several blocks.
Klacik also clapped back at Blackwell, saying it was ‘so sad to see’ him making the plight of West Baltimore ‘a race issue’.
Both Klacik and Blackwell are black.
‘This could result in a positive change,’ she said of Trump drawing attention to urban blight, urging Cummings to ‘help get his district in order.’
Trump appeared to be responding to a Saturday morning segment on Fox and Friends (above)
The segment showed trash and vacant row houses in West Baltimore, Cummings’ district
Baltimore Republican strategist Kimberly Klacik (above) appeared on Fox and Friends Saturday morning to highlight the poor conditions in Cumming’s West Baltimore district
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson maintains a home in Cumming’s district, which also stretches out into suburban and rural Maryland where Carson lives in Upperco.
HUD did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.
Democrats reacted with fury at Trump’s remarks, calling them ‘racist’ and unpatriotic.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a member of the House Democrat ‘squad,’ tweeted at Trump that that Cummings is ‘centered in American values that you will *never* understand. He is a fighter for the people & a leader you will never be.’
‘I am proud our campaign headquarters is in Rep. Elijah Cummings’ district,’ wrote Senator Kamala Harris, a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. ‘Baltimore has become home to my team and it’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city.’
Rep. Katherine Clark, a Massachusetts Democrat and the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, tweeted, ‘These are not the words of a patriot.’
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. Young, a Democrat, also piped up in defense of his city.
‘It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American City like Baltimore, and to viciously attack U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero,’ Young said in a statement.
‘Mr. Trump’s rhetoric is hurtful and dangerous to the people he’s sworn to represent,’ Young continued.
On Thursday, the House Oversight and Reform Committee authorized Cummings to subpoena for records from the White House in connection with an investigation into aides’ use of personal email and text applications for official business.
Cummings said the committee has ‘direct evidence’ that ‘multiple high-level’ White House officials have been breaking the Presidential Records Acts, which governs preservation of communications, including encrypted apps.
The move would compel communications information such as Kushner’s contacts with foreign officials.
He has been reported to have used irregular methods, specifically WhatsApp, to communicate with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman.
Trump is spending the weekend at the White House with no public events on his schedule.
On Saturday following his controversial tweets, he departed the White House for Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia where he spent a little over four hours.
There was no initial word on whom the president may have golfed with.