Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) extended an offer to President Donald Trump on Wednesday to tour Baltimore alongside him, after the president criticized the conditions of the congressman’s district.
“I want President Trump to come to my district,” Cummings said during a fireside chat at the National Press Club. “Oh God, I want him to come so bad.”
Trump ignited a firestorm after he had previously tweeted a series of attacks against the Maryland lawmaker, criticizing him for bullying Border Patrol agents over the conditions of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement facilities along the southern border while the district Cummings was elected to represent remained, according to Trump, a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
Cummings subsequently defended his service to the people of Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, as well as his handling of the House Oversight and Reform Committee during his tenure as chairman.
The president, however, continued his barrage of criticism and went on to tweet a slew of video clips showing Baltimore’s piling garbage and deteriorating conditions.
“I want him to come. I want him to come. I want him to come and look at my entire city. I’ll ride with him for hours if he asked to,” Cummings said. “Then I want him to go into Baltimore County where the richest of the rich are, then I want him to go into Howard County where the richest of the rich are, and then I want him to see all the wonderful things that are happening.”
Cummings, however, declined to tour a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) facility in Baltimore with HUD Sec. Ben Carson after the Trump administration extended the invitation in July. At the time, Cummings’ office told The Daily Wire he was unable to join “due to scheduling conflicts.”
Cummings revealed on Wednesday that he has not asked the president about accompanying him to Baltimore because he “can’t get to him,” but welcomed the media to write editorials about his offer.
After his initial attack, Trump was immediately met with widespread backlash over what many on the Left claimed were racially motivated accusations. In response, the president doubled down on the remarks and accused Democrats of always playing “the race card.”
“Just take a look, the facts speak louder than words! The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact, they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people,” Trump tweeted. “Now, lowest unemployment in U.S. history and only getting better. Elijah Cummings has failed badly!”
Interestingly, the city of Baltimore has been a top contender for the most rat-infested cities in the nation. The list, which is compiled annually by the pest control company Orkin, placed Baltimore as one of the top 10 “Rattiest Cities” for the second year in a row in 2018.
Baltimore also had the worst homicide rate among the 50 largest cities in the country, as well as the second highest violent crime rate overall, according to FBI data released in 2018. At the time, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan called the news “shocking and disappointing,” but further noted that “it doesn’t come as a complete surprise.”