The Baltimore Sun editorial board lashed out at President Donald Trump in a scathing editorial Saturday in response to the president criticizing Rep. Elijah Cummings’ congressional district — Maryland’s 7th, which includes Baltimore — as “filthy” and a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

The editorial — which was titled, “Better to have a few rats than to be one” — attributed Trump’s criticisms to racism.

“It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics,” the board wrote.

“[H]e was returning to an old standby of attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments,” the board claimed.

Despite having the highest homicide rate among America’s top 50 major cities in 2018, in addition to the second-highest violent crime rate, the Sun charged that Baltimore’s long documented problems with crime, poverty, drug abuse, and political corruption are more of a responsibility for Trump than city leaders.

“The White House has far more power to affect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. 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,” the board claimed.

The board went on to say:

Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we 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. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity.

“Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one,” the board concluded.

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