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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE defended his recent attacks on Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBaltimore mayor looks to rename downtown courthouse after Cummings Cummings to lie in state at the Capitol Gowdy remembers political opponent, good friend Elijah Cummings 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-CortezHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Sanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders MORE (N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders Ocasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders Omar calls Trump hosting G-7 at Doral 'disturbing' MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Omar endorses Sanders presidential bid 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 NadlerDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing Barr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday 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.