Jul 28, 2019

Baltimore Sun to Trump: Better to have a few rats than to be one

Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

The Baltimore Sun denounced President Trump Saturday for his Twitter attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and the majority-black Baltimore-area district he represents — which Trump called a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."

If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land."
— Baltimore Sun editorial board

The big picture: In an article titled "Better to have a few rats than to be one," the editorial board of the Maryland paper, one of the oldest newspapers in the U.S., wrote that it's heartening to see public figures such as "native daughter" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young defend the city.

  • The board said it wished to remind Trump that "the White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress" —including Cummings. It left its most scathing rebuke toward the end of the article.
"[W]e would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are 'good people' among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post."

The other side: Trump doubled down on his Twitter assault on Cummings, retweeting Kimberly Klacik, of Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, who tweeted a video she said was filmed inside Cummings' district.

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Warren: Trump's tweets on Baltimore and Cummings are ugly and racist

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told reporters Saturday that President Trump's tweets about Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and the Baltimore-area district he represents are "ugly and racist."

The big picture: Trump doubled down on his earlier attacks on Cummings and the majority-black Baltimore-area district — which he called a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" — retweeting fellow Republicans, who said "[t]his has nothing to do with race." Warren told Fox News that Trump's tweets were "part of his overall pattern of trying to stir up as much hatred and dissension in America as possible."

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Keep ReadingArrowJul 28, 2019

Trump plants racial explosives in the urban-rural divide

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's onslaught of disparaging tweets calling Baltimore a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" — and characterizing Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings as failing to fix it — extends Trump's streak of vilifying big American cities and adds a racial spin that scores points with parts of his base.

The big picture: Cities, particularly coastal ones, are Democratic strongholds that have been protesting Trump policies like immigration and health care since day one of his administration.

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019

Scoop: Trump considered declaring state of emergency in Baltimore

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

It isn't clear if there was a plan for last week. Some consequential things went down: The U.S. sanctioned Iran's top diplomat, revved up the trade war with China, and signed off on a spending bill that will spike the national debt. But all that got largely lost by the wayside as the president went to war with a Baltimore icon.

The big picture: Nobody knew it was coming, nobody knew how to handle it, and a week later, senior White House officials have their fingers crossed that the president won't turn their week upside-down once again with another tweet about a "Fox and Friends" segment. As the week has unfurled, people inside and outside the White House described to me how a few pokes of a keyboard by the leader of the free world sent some of Washington's most powerful political players scrambling for cover.

Go deeperArrowAug 4, 2019