House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., previously referred to his community of Baltimore as a “drug-infested” area, using a term that President Trump included in a tweet widely panned as a racist attack on the city.
The video, tweeted by the president on Wednesday, showed Cummings lamenting the city’s scourge of drugs while speaking during what appeared to be a congressional hearing.
“This morning, I left my community of Baltimore — a drug-infested area where a lot of the drugs we are talking about today have already taken the lives of so many children,” he said. “The same children that I watched 14 or 15 years ago as they grew up, now walking around like zombies.”
Trump originally called Baltimore a “rat and rodent infested mess,” apparently conjuring allusions to racism for some media outlets. CNN’s Erin Burnett, for example, accused Trump of feeding his base’s “basest tendencies” by using those words to describe a majority-African American city.