Trump says Sanders should be labeled a racist for remarks on Baltimore

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE on Monday seized on years-old comments from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (I-Vt.) comparing parts of Baltimore to a Third World country, arguing the Democratic presidential candidate should be labeled a racist for the remarks if people are going to criticize the president's own recent tweets about the city.

"Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!" Trump said of the remarks by Sanders, which were made in 2015 after he toured Baltimore following riots over the death of Freddie Gray, an African American man who was killed in police custody.

"Based on that statement, I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard!" Trump tweeted. 

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The remarks may have been an effort to deflect criticism over Trump's barrage of tweets about Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsStopgap government funding measure includes census money, military pay raise Maya Rockeymoore Cummings reports surgery was a success, will return to campaign trail The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today MORE (D-Md.) and Baltimore, which Trump labeled a "very dangerous & filthy place" where "no human being would want to live." 

In his 2015 comments, Sanders, who was running for the Democratic presidential nomination at the time, took issue with the inequality in parts of the city.

"Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you were in a wealthy nation, you would think that you were in a Third World country," Sanders said at the time.

"What we're talking about is a community in which half of the people don't have jobs," he added. "We're talking about a community in which there are hundreds of buildings that are uninhabitable. We're talking about a community where kids are unable to go to schools that are decent." 

Sanders's critical comments of Baltimore were resurfaced over the weekend by conservative outlets, and "Fox & Friends" aired portions of the 2015 press conference during its broadcast Monday morning.

The president further promoted the remarks as part of his days-long attacks on Baltimore and Cummings, whose district includes part of the city.

"Trump's lies and racism never end," Sanders tweeted in response to the president.

While I have been fighting to lift the people of Baltimore and elsewhere out of poverty with good paying jobs, housing and health care, he has been attacking workers and the poor.

In a tweet following his attacks on Sanders, Trump again blamed Cummings for holding the city back, mockingly referring to the 13-term congressman as "King Elijah."

"When the leaders of Baltimore want to see the City rise again, I am in a very beautiful oval shaped office waiting for your call!" Trump tweeted.

Trump decried Cummings on Saturday as a "brutal bully" for his fierce critiques of conditions at the southern border and suggested Baltimore "is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA."

Over the course of the weekend, he tweeted about Cummings and Baltimore more than a dozen times, eventually calling the lawmaker — the son of sharecroppers in South Carolina — a "racist."

Democrats have widely condemned Trump's attacks on one of their most prominent colleagues, decrying the tweets about Cummings's majority-black district as racist.

--This report was updated at 12:33 p.m.