President Donald Trump continued his attacks on congresspeople of color this weekend by targeting House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chastising Cummings over the conditions of Cummings's district, which includes the city of Baltimore.
Trump called the city "rat and rodent infested mess," tweeting that "no human being would want to live there." In further tweets, he claimed that Cummings, an activist on the front lines of the Civl Rights Movement in the 1960s, was a racist.
Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol abou… https://t.co/7svlPwKJu5— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1564226068.0
....As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded.… https://t.co/5NEW7Thmxu— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1564226068.0
Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous an… https://t.co/O358G0UX84— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1564226667.0
A lot of the rhetoric in Trump's tweets sparked criticism, but the claim that Baltimore is "rat-infested," struck a particular chord. Trump has used the word "infested" to describe a variety of situations since even before his presidency, and he tends to use the word in association with people of color.
Now, an April tweet from Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs is pointing out that the White House, for Trump, may be a glass house when it comes to so-called infestations.
RAT TRAPS. Multiple black box rat stations set up at White House. https://t.co/1Wckyvgtiw— Jennifer Jacobs (@Jennifer Jacobs)1554997550.0
People weren't exactly surprised by the hypocrisy.
@TimOBrien All of those fast food containers.— A Desperate and Despicable Dwarf (@A Desperate and Despicable Dwarf)1564344764.0
@TimOBrien Well, it is DC.— Terry Smith (@Terry Smith)1564353774.0
@TimOBrien @SuziSteffen Look, everything out of his mouth is a lie or a projection.— Everett M (@Everett M)1564324794.0
In fact, workers at the White House may be looking for the wrong rats.
@TimOBrien Eric keeps eating the cheese.— PushinTooHard (@PushinTooHard)1564317828.0
@TimOBrien I’m afraid those traps are nearly large enough for the biggest rat in the Whitehouse.— David H (@David H)1564325423.0
@TimOBrien @Jmalco You're gonna need a much bigger trap to catch the Rat King. It's easy, lure him in with a big mac and diet coke.— Gigi Sunday (@Gigi Sunday)1564318502.0
@TimOBrien Ivanka, Eric and Donnie Jr. should stop visiting.— MiloKatzzzzz (@MiloKatzzzzz)1564342657.0
@TimOBrien They need to put them on the INSIDE of the White House, starting with the Oval Office.— Mary March (@Mary March)1564349752.0
Since Trump's tweets, critics have published a number of scathing responses. Most notably, a response from the Baltimore Sun in an editorial titled "Better to have a few rats than to be one," which states:
"Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner...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."
Sounds about right.