Trump says there's 'nothing racist' in attacks against Cummings

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE defended his recent attacks on Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsTrump rips Bill Maher as 'exhausted, gaunt and weak' Bill Maher delivers mock eulogy for Trump The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden comes to Washington to honor John Lewis MORE (D-Md.), saying there is "nothing racist" in his tweets. 

"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 tweeted Sunday.

Trump tweeted Saturday about Cummings and the city of Baltimore, which falls in the congressman's district, calling the city "disgusting" and "rodent infested," comments that were widely denounced as racist by Democrats.

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He continued to double down on his criticism Sunday. 

About 40 minutes after defending his initial attack, Trump followed up with a tweet calling Cummings "racist." Trump did not include an explanation of why he was describing the African American congressman as racist.

"If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical 'oversight' is a joke!" Trump tweeted.

Trump similarly tried to fend off accusations that his tweets targeting a group of four congresswomen were racist.

In a tweet directed at freshman Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris Overnight Energy: EPA finalizes rollback of Obama-era oil and gas methane emissions standards | Democratic lawmakers ask Interior to require masks indoors at national parks | Harris climate agenda stresses need for justice Markey riffs on JFK quote in new ad touting progressive bona fides MORE (N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' Omar fends off primary challenge in Minnesota Centrists, progressives rally around Harris pick for VP MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence Omar fends off primary challenge in Minnesota MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez celebrates 'squad' primary victories: 'The people triumphed' It's past time to be rid of the legacy of Jesse Helms Minneapolis Star Tribune endorses Ilhan Omar's primary challenger MORE (Mass.), all of whom are women of color, Trump said the lawmakers should “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Only Omar was born outside the U.S, and all four are U.S. citizens. 

Trump vehemently pushed back on accusations that the tweets directed at the lawmakers were racist.

Later, Trump’s mention of Omar at a rally led the crowd to break into a “send her back” chant. Trump said he tried to quell the chants, but he waited 13 seconds to speak and continued his speech only after the chant had died down on its own.

The House voted to condemn Trump’s “go back” tweets in a vote largely along party lines. Few Republicans have publicly denounced Trump’s attacks on U.S. lawmakers of color as racist.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerBy questioning Barr, Democrats unmasked their policy of betrayal Chris Wallace: Barr hearing 'an embarrassment' for Democrats: 'Just wanted to excoriate him' Apple posts blowout third quarter MORE (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that a resolution condemning Trump’s racist tweet about Cummings “wouldn’t be a bad idea,” but he was unsure if one would be introduced.