Trump says he is the 'least racist person anywhere in the world'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE on Tuesday said he has no regrets over his attacks on House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDiplomat who raised Ukraine concerns to testify in Trump impeachment probe House rejects GOP measure censuring Schiff Overnight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan MORE (D-Md.) and the city of Baltimore, which have renewed accusations of racism against the president.

During his first session with reporters since launching the attacks, Trump said people in “corrupt” Baltimore are “living in hell” and insisted his comments have nothing to do with race.  

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“I’m the least racist person there is anywhere in the world,” Trump told reporters at the White House before traveling to Jamestown, Va.

The president again lashed out at the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has emerged as a vocal critic of his attacks against minority lawmakers, calling him a “racist.”

Trump’s targeting of Cummings, a powerful black congressman who has served for more than two decades, followed his days-long assault of four freshman Democratic congresswomen, known as the “Squad.” 

Trump doubled down on blaming Cummings for the condition of some impoverished areas of Baltimore, alleging that billions of dollars were “stolen” and that the Maryland congressman has “been in charge,” even though he is not involved in city government.

The president said Cummings should use his committee, which has focused on investigating the Trump administration and his family businesses, to instead look into alleged wrongdoing in his own the city.

“No, I think I’m helping myself because I’m pointing out the tremendous corruption that’s taken place in Baltimore and other Democratic run cities,” the president said when asked if he could hurt himself politically by targeting Cummings.

Without citing specifics, Trump said that he has “received more phone calls” than on any other issue previously from Baltimore residents who have expressed gratitude for his comments.

“They’re largely African-American...They really appreciate what I’m doing and they’ve let me know it,” the president said.

Trump’s attacks, which have stretched on for weeks, have prompted accusations that he is targeting well-known minority lawmakers and public figures in order to fire up his base ahead of next year’s election.

The comments will likely provide fodder for his potential 2020 Democratic opponents who are debating the next two nights in Detroit, a majority-black city located in a state Trump narrowly won in 2016.