Elijah Cummings Called Baltimore 'Drug Infested Area' in 1999

'A lot of the drugs we're talking about today have already taken the lives of so many children'

July 31, 2019

Embattled Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) described his community of Baltimore as a "drug infested area" in a video from a 1999 congressional hearing.

"This morning, I left my community of Baltimore, a drug infested area, where a lot of the drugs we're talking about today have already taken the lives of so many children," Cummings said. "The same children that I watched 14 or 15 years ago as they grew up now walking around like zombies. This is only 40 miles away from here."

President Trump criticized both the city of Baltimore and Cummings in multiple tweets over the past week.  He called Rep. Cummings a "brutal bully"  and claimed the representative was "screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous."

"Cumming 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," he continued.

After the initial criticism, he continued to double down. "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," he wrote on Twitter. "No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!"

Members of the media and the Democratic Party condemned Trump's criticism of Baltimore and Cummings. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) called the president "disgusting and racist" and presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Ca.) called the criticism "disgraceful," and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Ca.) defended Cummings.

In 2017, Trump also generated controversy when he referred to the state of New Hampshire as a "drug-infested den." At the time, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said that it was "disappointing" that the president's "mischaracterization of this epidemic ignores the great things this state has to offer."