Politics

Trump Says Billions in Taxpayer Dollars Wasted, Stolen in Cummings’s District

Trump dollars taxpayersPresident Donald Trump on July 30 accused Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and other Baltimore politicians of wasting and stealing billions of dollars sent to the city in federal aid.

“It’s been misspent. It’s been missing. It’s been stolen with a lot of corrupt government. And as you know, Cummings has been in charge,” the president told reporters on the White House lawn.

“I think that Representative Cummings should take his Oversight Committee and start doing oversight in Baltimore. He’d find out some real things,” Trump added.

Cummings’ office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Following Trump’s remarks, Cummings shared a pair of opinion pieces on his Twitter account. One is titled “Trump Attacks on Baltimore, Cummings Become Political Litmus Test, with Democratic Presidential Debates Ahead,” and the other is titled “Elijah Cummings Is No Racist.”

Trump’s accusation is the latest in a war of words with Cummings that has lasted for days. It began with the president’s comment on July 27, calling Cummings a “brutal bully” for shouting at federal immigration authorities about the conditions on the southwest border with Mexico. The president said that the conditions are far worse in Cummings’s district, calling it “a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess.” Cummings responded to the criticism by saying he fights for his constituents.

Cummings’s district received $16 billion in taxpayer money in 2018, according to Lynne Patton, the regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We have given more money in homeless funds to Baltimore than the last administration. We have given more money in community development grants than the last administration to Baltimore,” Patton told Fox News. “My question to you guys is this: What are you actually doing with the money so that it benefits residents in the community for once, instead of deep-pocket crooked politicians?”

In remarks to reporters on the White House lawn on July 30, Trump said, “Baltimore has been very badly mishandled for many years,” and pointed to the city’s former mayors.

Mayor Sheila Dixon, a Democrat, was convicted of misappropriating gift cards in 2009 and resigned in 2010. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, also a Democrat, announced that she wouldn’t run for re-election in 2015 after criticism of her handling of the unrest following the death of a man injured in police custody. Catherine Pugh, yet another Democrat, resigned as mayor in May, one week after the FBI raided two of her homes amid controversy surrounding a $500,000 payment she received from the University of Maryland Medical System to publish children’s books.

Trump said the White House has received “thousands” of calls from Baltimore and other cities thanking him for bringing attention to the poor conditions and claims of corruption.

“The White House and myself … have received more phone calls than I think on any other subject of people from Baltimore and many other cities corruptly run by Democrats thanking me for getting involved. Those people are living in hell in Baltimore. They’re largely African American. They have a large African American population. And they really appreciate what I’m doing and they’ve let me know it,” Trump said.

Democrats and establishment media outlets continue to interpret Trump’s comments about Cummings as “racist,” but offer no evidence for the claim. Trump said on July 30 that he is “the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.” The president also touted his administration’s achievements for African Americans, including the historic-low unemployment among African Americans, the creation of opportunity zones that attract investments to low-income areas, and the enactment of criminal justice reforms.

“What I’ve done for African Americans in two and a half years, no president has been able to do anything like it,” Trump said.

A nonprofit operated by Rep. Cummings’s wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, is currently under scrutiny. A Washington-based ethics and transparency watchdog on July 15 asked Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh to look into a nonprofit and a for-profit firm operated by Rockeymoore Cummings, due to “significant overlap in the projects and revenue of the two entities.”

“Ms. Rockeymoore Cummings’s nonprofit has paid significant management fees to her own for-profit company and she has been paid directly over $200,000,” Kendra Arnold, the executive director at the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, wrote in a letter (pdf) to Frosh.

“This potentially improper financial benefit to Ms. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and her husband, Representative Elijah Cummings, is serious in nature,” Arnold added.

Frosh’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Cummings is the head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, one of several Democratic-led committees conducting inquiries targeting the president, his family, his past business dealings, and current and former White House staff. The president’s criticism of Cummings stems partly from these inquiries, which he believes are a waste of time.

“What Elijah Cummings should do is, he should take his Oversight Committee, bring them down to Baltimore and really study the billions and billions of dollars that’s been stolen. It’s been wasted. It’s been stolen. They ought to take that beautiful waste of an oversight committee, go down to Baltimore and other Democratic-run cities and take a look. See if you find the billions that have been stolen,” Trump said.

According to a July poll (pdf) by Morning Consult, 17 percent of black voters approve of Trump’s job performance. Between 1980 and 2004, Republican presidents received between 8 percent and 12 percent of the black vote, according to a report (pdf) by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. That percentage declined to 4 percent and 6 percent during the two elections when President Barack Obama was on the ballot.

Pastor Mark Burns, who supported Trump during the 2016 presidential election, told The Epoch Times that Democrats who keep accusing Trump of racism will help the president’s re-election in 2020.

“It’s one of the greatest things that they can do because there’s no substance to it. The more they cry racism, the more they guarantee Donald Trump is going to be re-elected for four more years,” Burns said. “People see through the foolishness.”

Reprinted with permission from - The Epoch Times - by Ivan Pentchoukov

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Mimi

They scream racism at President Trump, and cry about the treatment of illegals at the border, to divert attention from what they’ve NOT been doing at home for own constituents. Who are these people in Maryland that keep voting in the same people that are doing NOTHING to help them year after year?? Why not try the conservative side? Conservative run states do much better on taxes, jobs and housing than liberal run states. I live in California. It used to be a wonderful place to live when republican/conservatives were the majority. Now with the Democrats/liberals in the majority we are practically bankrupt, have extremely high taxes, and our major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are cesspools!! Come on people use that wonderful mind God gave you. Liberals are not helping you and they never ever will. They ride the gravy train in Washington year after year because… Read more »

Harry

The federal government should be held responsible for continuing to send hard working taxpayers money to any district that does not demonstrate positive results

Paul W

What can you say? They were. Period. Again…the president is right. We need an accounting of every penny that has gone to that district.

Frank S.

Booker T. Washington, a great American talked about “problem profiteers” in his book, My Larger Education (1911): “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” Sounds like Cummings, J. Jackson, Al Sharpton, or any other member of the Black Caucus. Almost to a person these people have sold out their own people for personal profit. Instead, they hold up W.E.B Dubois as a great black American. He preached “victimization,” just the opposite of… Read more »

Kim

When I lived in Maryland, I frequently traveled to several areas in Baltimore for wholesale supplies. While there are some beautiful “equestrian estates” miles outside the city, and while some nearby suburbs are “tidy and functional”, the city of Baltimore is a mess…a total mess. The Inner Harbor and the Convention Center–very nice, but the areas I had to drive through to get my supplies…well… “Lock your doors”, Jack said. His warehouse had double bolted doors, and they buzzed me in. This old city has gorgeous–but abandoned and weeded over–stately brick rowhomes. On one main street, you’d see people hanging out on their porches, grilling in the front yard, others staggering toward the bar, more walking around with as many possessions as they could fit into a stolen shopping cart. There was a bar on every block, it seemed. Trash blew all over and collected around fences and under dead… Read more »

Wayne

“What Elijah Cummings should do is, he should take his Oversight Committee, bring them down to Baltimore and really study the billions and billions of dollars that’s been stolen. Absolutely not! Elijah Cummings should be kept far far away. He will cover up his wife`s wrong full dealings. I say appoint at least a 6 person special committee that is comprised of all republicans and all hate Elijah Cummings, give them 2 years and an unlimited amount of money to look into all aspects that the Cummings have had any thing to do with for the past 47 years.

Lynn

Mimi, I was born in Hollywood, raised in Topanga Canyon, knew Santa Monica and the coastal communities as well as the San Fernando Valley very well. I watched as liberals, Hippies from NY, OH, PA, NJ, etc. arrived throughout the 60s and 70s in droves and RUINED my beautiful California. As a young adult I lived in OC and watched as a beautiful region became degraded by increased drug culture, crime, gangs, illegals. What happens is liberals vote in liberals that ruin entire communities and regions, then they move out like a bacterial infection and penetrate well-run, fiscally solvent conservative states. They’re doing this now in Virginia, TX, the Carolinas. The liberal is the greatest contributor to social decay and the Democrat-run cities are evidence of that.

J Boothby

After reading a lot on this topic it would seem to me it should be a requirement that places that receive government funds should have to present an accounting of how the money was spent and show the improvement before receiving any more funds…No results , then no more federal money….It is time the American Taxpayer was showed some respect and that our elected officials started showing it by accountability….Politics is a nasty game and many just say they don’t want to get involved. Everyone should be interested and involved. It is our hard earned money they are squandering. I for one would like to see them work for their bloated salaries and benefits.

Stephen Russell

How about other inner cities doing same as Baltimore?? Name names. ID cities aside LA, SF CA alone. Is So Bend IN same as Baltimore?
Expose more waste, NO more money to Baltimore unless purge City, State Govt alone
Or nothing changes

Terri

Do the Dems even realize that calling “racist/rascism” at every corner makes the term meaningless? It is overused to the extreme.

Lynn

The Democrat liberal progressive socialist strategy supported by mainstream media and Hollywood is to raise a hue and cry against invented wrongs of the POTUS and conservatives, use labeling and name-calling, while they cover up the real crimes… like Killary’s Russia Uranium deal while Sec’y of State for Obama, and Comey and Brennan’s Russia collusion investigation that wasted tens of millions of tax dollars so the Dems could get away with a crooked Hillary campaign and a real coup attempt. When oh when will American taxpayers see prosecutions and convictions in our courts of these criminals. Cummings and his wifey and his cronies at city hall deserve jail time.

Jim

Amazing when our President says the truth, that everyone already knows is the truth, they call him racist, that is because they can’t handle the truth.

Jack Thomas

Elijah Cummings has been in Congress for 23 years and his 7th District — Baltimore in particular — is STILL a mess. That’s just a FACT. So why is President Trump a “racist” for calling him out? “Race” has nothing to do with it. But this is the label that gets tossed around whenever the Left wants to deflect attention from its own failures. It’s no surprise to find demagogue Al Sharpton on TV playing the race card in Congressman Cummings defense. Or, witnessing how fast the liberal media pundits pick up on it with their Polly Parrot chorus of “racism.” Seriously? Would Donald Trump appoint a renowned African American neurosurgeon as Secretary of HUD if he was a racist? Would he have pardoned Alice Marie Johnson, an African American woman serving a life sentence? Would he have agreed to a White House visit from Kanye West if he was… Read more »

Luke Knight

It would seem to be a very good idea to put a panel of 3 judges in charge of money that it sent to a city or state for accountability purposes. Keep it out of the control of politicians of course they could present projects for consideration but never give them control of the money.

Todd Taylor

I saw the Baltimore area in question; what shame. There must be accountability; Cummings and all those involved wasting tax payers dollars on what only God knows must go. This behavior of steeling from those who need the help most is despicable.

Wayne D Peterkin

I agree with the president and Baltimore is one disgrace among many. Our inner cities in a number of places are disgraceful, they have been for decades, and are dominated by Democrats who keep getting elected for reasons I can’t fathom. I’m no Elijah Cummings fan at all and no doubt a congressman can exert some influence in his/her district to help clean it up. However, that influence is limited. The local politicians are most probably the ones primarily responsible for the theft, graft, and corruption so they must take primary responsibility for the mess. That said, I am certain that Cummings and other congressional representatives from other scandalous districts have not done nearly enough. Bottom line is that Cummings deserves a lot of criticism but maybe not quite to the degree the president has directed at him. Deroy Murdock, an admirable black journalist, posted some quotes by various people… Read more »

Dot

I just loathe Democrats..

Dr. C

How does this Black racist Elijah Cummings justify his existence?

Joseph

When will America look at the Fact and not the HIPE. Listen to the debate and thought well let’s give more to city’s as they can then pay the people who run them more to not solve the problems. I not sure who I will vote for but I am stating to think who I will not.

Walter Luffman

Elijah Cummings claims he is no racist, and I tend to agree with that. Best I can tell, he takes advantage of everyone, equally, regardless of race. He may be a lot of things, many of them disreputable … but at least he doesn’t appear to be a racist.

OTOH, he isn’t serving his constituents either. (Unless, by “constituents”, he means the people who can benefit him personally.)

In Washington parlance, “public servant” is semantically equal to “public master”.