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

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE defended his recent attacks on Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsOvernight Health Care: AstraZeneca may have included outdated data on vaccine trial, officials say | Pelosi says drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package | Biden administration extends special ObamaCare enrollment until August Pelosi: Drug pricing measure under discussion for infrastructure package Bottom line 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-CortezOn The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since lockdowns | Retail sales surge in March | Dow, S&P hit new records Ocasio-Cortez says she disagrees with holding up infrastructure over SALT Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico MORE (N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Democrats brace for new 'defund the police' attacks Bernie Sanders says he disagrees with Tlaib's call for 'no more police' MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarNew York Times defends itself against Project Veritas defamation suit Tlaib: US policing 'intentionally racist,' can't be reformed Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyFDA ends restrictions on mailing abortion pills during pandemic Tlaib: US policing 'intentionally racist,' can't be reformed Pelosi's advice for the 'Squad': 'You're not a one-person show' 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 NadlerHouse Republican proposes constitutional amendment to prevent Supreme Court expansion Democrats roll out legislation to expand Supreme Court Pelosi says she won't bring bill to expand Supreme Court to the floor 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.