VOA News/ By Ken Bredemeier

U.S. President Donald Trump remained focused Monday on his criticism of the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore, Maryland, and one of its top officials, Congressman Elijah Cummings, who has been critical of the Trump administration.

“Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action!” Trump wrote on Twitter.  “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!”

The Rev. Al Sharpton is holding an event in Baltimore on Monday alongside Michael Steele, who formerly served as lieutenant governor of Maryland and the head of the Republican National Committee.  Sharpton said the two would hold a news conference “to address Trump’s remarks and bi-partisan outrage in the black community.”

In a string of Twitter comments, Trump called the 68-year Cummings, now in his 13th term in the House of Representatives, a “brutal bully” and claimed that his congressional district “is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Trump contended that Cummings’s district is “FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than the border facilities where the government detains migrants who have crossed the U.S. border without documentation.

Government statistics show, however, that Cummings’s district, which includes impoverished parts of Baltimore and well-off suburban enclaves adjoining the city, has higher per capita income and higher median home values than the national average.

Trump rebuffed criticism of his latest attack on a minority lawmaker, saying, “There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself. Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!”

Trump recently had assailed four first-term Democratic lawmakers, all women of color, saying they should “go back” to their home countries, even though all four are American citizens, three of them by birth and the fourth, a Somali refugee, through naturalization.

In another comment, Trump complained, “Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States. No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”

As Trump unleashed his attacks, Cummings defended himself, saying, “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”

In recent congressional hearings, Cummings, as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, berated Kevin McAleenan, the acting Homeland Security chief. Cummings attacked McAleenan for the condition of the country’s detention facilities at the border and the government’s lax records on tracking the whereabouts of migrant parents it had separated from children at the border, a months-long problem even after Trump, facing a public outcry, ended family separations.

Cummings cited a federal judge’s conclusion that Homeland Security “did a better job of tracking immigrants’ personal property than their children.”

Trump countered, “As proven last week during a congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded.”

As Trump unleashed his attacks, Cummings defended himself, saying, ““Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”

In recent congressional hearings, Cummings, as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, berated Kevin McAleenan, the acting Homeland Security chief. Cummings attacked McAleenan for the condition of the country’s detention facilities at the border and the government’s lax records on tracking the whereabouts of migrant parents it had separated from children at the border, a months-long problem even after Trump, facing a public outcry, ended family separations.

Cummings cited a federal judge’s conclusion that Homeland Security “did a better job of tracking immigrants’ personal property than their children.”

Trump countered, “As proven last week during a congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded.”

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney rejected the notion that Trump’s attacks on Cummings were racially motivated.

“When the president hears lies [about the immigration facilities], he’s going to attack back,” Mulvaney told the Fox News Sunday interview show. “The president is attacking Cummings for saying things that are not true. It has absolutely nothing to do with race.”