During an interview broadcast on Monday’s edition of CNN’s “Cuomo Primetime,” 2020 presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) responded to President Trump’s statements about Baltimore and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) by stating that President Trump is making America weaker by dividing it and that Russia knew the best way to undercut the United States was to get someone like Trump elected because they understood “that America would become weaker and more divided under his presidency.”

Buttigieg said, “He is the president of the United States. Baltimore is in the United States. He’s the president for the people of Baltimore, and he’s talking about it like it’s somebody else’s problem. The question should be, if Baltimore faces challenges, which it does, as every major American city does, what is he doing to help? And what we see is a president whose response is to attack fellow Americans, whether it’s members of Congress who have been critical of him or an entire city full of Americans just because it — that city is partly represented by a member of Congress who’s critical of him. And he continues down this path of dividing Americans black versus white, rural versus urban, which is exactly why America is becoming weaker as a country, under this president, each passing day.”

He added, “Well, first of all, our reputation is collapsing around the world, but also our confidence in our own country is collapsing, and the president needs to be able to bring people together. Look, even when we’re divided out of disagreement over a policy, the president is supposed to stand, the presidency is supposed to stand as a symbol of something that we all have in common. And yet this president has taken every single opportunity to turn us against one another. This is why — you know, there’s a lot of talk over exactly how far the extent of Russian interference went. We spend far too little time talking about why. Why did a very sophisticated adversary of the United States calculate that the best way they could undermine our country was to get a guy like this elected? And it was because they knew, correctly, anticipated, that America would become weaker and more divided under his presidency.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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