Trump recognizes Cummings during address at historically black college

President Trump offered his “warmest respects” to the family and friends of the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Friday as lawmakers and multiple former presidents and political figures paid tribute to the longtime Baltimore-area congressman.

During a speech at a historically black college in Columbia, S.C., Trump recognized the Maryland congressman for his passion, recalling an Oval Office meeting during which he and the Democratic lawmaker discussed lowering prescription drug prices.

“Not long ago, I met with Elijah in the Oval Office and I saw the passion he had, with me, for lowering prescription drug prices,” Trump said. “We’re going to get it done, I’ll tell you, we’re absolutely going to get it done.”{mosads}

Trump described Cummings’s passion as “rare,” and said that with bipartisan support prescription drug prices would be reduced more significantly.

“Prescription prices are coming down,” Trump said. “If we could get support on the other side, we’ll get those prices so far lower than you wouldn’t even believe it.”

The president made the remarks at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum, where he received an award for his efforts to pass a criminal justice reform bill last year.

Trump delivered the address after Cummings was honored with a funeral service in Baltimore. Former Presidents Obama and Clinton joined other top Democrats to eulogize Cummings, who died on Oct. 17 at the age of 68.

Trump has offered praise for Cummings following his death, though the president had a decidedly rocky relationship with the Democratic lawmaker until shortly before he died. Cummings chaired the House Oversight and Reform Committee and was a key figure in sprawling congressional investigations into the president and his administration.

The president lashed out at Cummings over the summer, accusing the top Democrat of neglecting his home district, which includes much of Baltimore. Trump described the majority-African American city as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” remarks that drew accusations of racism.

Trump offered praise for Cummings the day of his death and ordered that flags at the White House and on all U.S. public grounds and military posts be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for his memory and public service.

The president’s remarks at the historically black college on Friday came days after he withstood broad criticism for comparing House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry to a “lynching.”

Trump used his remarks Friday to tout his administration’s achievements for African Americans, noting his efforts on criminal justice reform and the record-low unemployment rate among African Americans.

Tags Cummings death Donald Trump Elijah Cummings prescription drug prices

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