Trump: $16 Billion to Baltimore Was ‘Stolen or Wasted, Ask Elijah Cummings Where it Went’

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
July 30, 2019Politics
Trump: $16 Billion to Baltimore Was ‘Stolen or Wasted, Ask Elijah Cummings Where it Went’
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) speaks to the media on May 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) I President Donald Trump gestures to the media before departing from the White House on July 24, 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The federal government has sent billions of dollars to Baltimore in recent years but the money has been either “stolen or wasted,” President Donald Trump said late July 29.

Writing on Twitter, Trump wrote: “Baltimore’s numbers are the worst in the United States on Crime and the Economy. Billions of dollars have been pumped in over the years, but to no avail. The money was stolen or wasted.”

“Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!” Trump added, referring to the Democratic Maryland representative, who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Lynne Patton, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that $16 billion in grants was given to Cummings’s district alone in 2018.

Hitting back after former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele, Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young, and activist Al Sharpton accused Trump of not spending properly on improving the city, Patton said during an appearance on Fox News that the administration has tried investing in Baltimore.

“I want to say this expressly to Mayor Young and Michael Steele and Al Sharpton, who today called out the president and said let President Trump put his money where his mouth is. Well, boys and girls, I have a message for you, President Trump has given $16 billion in 2018 alone to Elijah Cummings’s district in federal grants,” she said.

Cummings’ district, the 7th Congressional District, includes portions of Maryland outside Baltimore. It received slightly under $15.7 billion grants and other assistance from the federal government in fiscal year 2018, according to government data analyzed by Newsweek.

“We have given more money in homeless funds to Baltimore than the last administration. We have given more money in community development grants than the last administration to Baltimore. My question to you guys is this, what are you actually doing with the money so that it benefits residents in the community for once instead of deep-pocket crooked politicians?” Patton added.

Trump has repeatedly attacked Cummings in recent days over the condition of his district in Baltimore, a city with the highest murder rate in the nation.

Since Trump started highlighting Baltimore on Saturday, there have been a slew of shootings, leaving at least six people dead and others wounded.

Hitting back at charges of racism for talking about the city, Trump wrote late Sunday: “Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard!”

“The fact is, Baltimore can be brought back, maybe even to new heights of success and glory, but not with King Elijah and that crew. When the leaders of Baltimore want to see the City rise again, I am in a very beautiful oval shaped office waiting for your call!” he added.

Before the press conference featuring Sharpton, Trump said he’d known the activist and race provocateur for 25 years and that he used to often ask Trump for favors but that he’s become a “con man” and “a troublemaker.”

“Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull…Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!” Trump wrote.

Sharpton at the press conference accused Trump of attacking Cummings “in the most bigoted and racist way,” reported CBS Baltimore.

“He attacks everybody. I know Donald Trump, he’s not mature enough to take criticism. He can’t help it. He’s like a child. Someone says something he reacts. He’s thin-skinned and not really matured that well,” Sharpton said.

“But he has a particular venom for blacks and people of color. He doesn’t refer to any of his other opponents or critics as infested. He does not attack their districts. He attacks Nancy Pelosi, he attacks Chuck Schumer, he attacks other whites—but he never says that their districts or that their states are places that no human being wants to live.”

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