Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore home was burglarized Saturday morning hours before President Donald Trump criticized the Democrat and blasted the city as a “very dangerous & filthy place” in a series of tweets.
Police are investigating a burglary that occurred at Cummings’ rowhouse at 3:40 a.m. local time Saturday, Baltimore news stations reported.
Trump posted the first of a litany of attacks on Cummings and Baltimore less than three hours later, at 6:14 a.m.
Trump called Cummings’ district 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,” he said.
Trump was seemingly irked by Cummings’ allegations at a House Oversight Committee hearing in which he accused border patrol agencies of violating the rights of illegal immigrants detained at the southern border.
Trump’s tweets have sparked intense debate over whether the remarks were racist. Cummings, who is black, represents a majority black district that encompasses parts of West Baltimore. The city has one of the highest crime rates of major U.S. cities. Baltimore had the unfortunate distinction of having the highest murder rate in the U.S. in 2017.
Trump’s defenders have rebutted Democrats’ racism allegations by pulling up old footage of Democrats decrying Baltimore’s problems with crime and poverty. Trump’s campaign released video footage from 1999 in which Cummings called his district a “drug-infested area.” The campaign also released footage of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic candidate, in 2015 comparing conditions in Baltimore to “a third world country.”
Cummings’ defenders have argued that the conditions in Baltimore are outside the control of a lawmaker at the federal level. Others have said that Trump criticized the city to score political points, rather than out of concern for Baltimore residents.