U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings continued his criticism of President Donald Trump on Sunday, calling the president racist during “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos.
The host asked Cummings whether he thinks Trump is a racist, and Cummings responded: “Yes, no doubt about it.”
Cummings’ appearance was the latest in a string of interviews this week in which the Democratic Congressman from West Baltimore said some of Trump’s recent remarks reminded him of the racism he experienced decades ago as he worked to integrate Baltimore’s public pools.
The latest round of debates about the Republican president was spurred by Trump’s tweets last Sunday that called on four freshman Congresswomen to “go back” if they dislike America. The tweets were targeted at a group of four freshmen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib all were born in America and serve on Cummings’ oversight committee in Congress. Omar’s family came to America from Somalia when she was a child.
A few days later, Trump supporters at a North Carolina rally chanted “send her back” after he criticized Omar.
Trump’s comment, Cummings said, “brings up the same feelings that I had over 50-some years ago and it’s very very painful. It’s extremely divisive and I just don’t think it’s becoming of the president of the United States of America.”
Mercedes Schlapp, a spokeswoman for the Trump re-election campaign, appeared after Cummings and defended the president.
“He is not a racist,” Schlapp said. “He is a compassionate man whose policies have focused on the minority community.”
Schlapp said Trump disavowed the “send her back” chant at the rally, though Stephanopoulos pointed out that Trump made no attempt to put a stop to it.
“The president made it clear he wasn’t happy with the chant,” Schlapp said.