US

Trump: Baltimore Residents ‘Living in Hell,’ Says He’ll Visit City ‘At the Right Time’

By Zachary Stieber

President Donald Trump said that Baltimore leaders are corrupt and it has led to the city becoming practically unlivable for its residents.

“Baltimore has been very badly mishandled for many years,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday, July 30. “As you know Congressman [Elijah] Cummings has been there for a long time, he’s had a very iron hand on it. It’s a corrupt city, there’s no question about it. All you have to do is look at the facts.”

“The government has been pumping billions of dollars to no avail. Baltimore is an example of what corrupt government leads to. … I feel so sorry for the people of Baltimore, if they ask me we will get involved,” Trump added.

A number of residents have called into the White House to thank the president for bringing up Baltimore’s decay, Trump said. There have been more phone calls than the administration has received on “any other subject,” he said.

“Those people are living in hell in Baltimore. They’re largely African-American … and they really appreciate what I’m doing, and they let me know it,” Trump said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Baltimore had a population of 602,495 as of July 1, 2018, a drop of about three percent from 2010. The city’s population was approximately 62.8 percent black and about 30 percent white.

Trump began criticizing Cummings on Saturday, saying that the Baltimore portion of the Democrat’s district is in disrepair and infested with rats.

He said the Democrat’s district “is a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”

On Monday, he said the billions of dollars—some $15.7 billion in the last fiscal year alone—sent to Baltimore has either been “wasted or stolen,” adding, “Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!”

Trump on Tuesday championed the record-low African-American employment his administration has achieved, saying, “What I’ve done for African Americans in 2.5 years, no other president has been able to do anything like it.”

Addressing criticism that his comments about Baltimore are rooted in racism, Trump said, “I’m the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.”

The president was then asked whether he’d visit Baltimore in the future. “At the right time I’ll visit,” Trump responded.