Ilhan Omar defends Cummings after Trump attacks: He 'wants to distract with his racism'

Ilhan Omar defends Cummings after Trump attacks: He 'wants to distract with his racism'
© Aaron Schwartz

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarLiberals ramp up pressure on Pelosi to discipline Boebert  Tlaib offers tearful rebuke to anti-Muslim comments from Boebert Pelosi says she'll 'never forgive' Trump, lackeys over Jan. 6 MORE (D-Minn.) on Sunday defended Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFormer GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik suing Candace Owens for defamation Former Cummings staffer unveils congressional bid McCarthy, GOP face a delicate dance on Jan. 6 committee MORE (D-Md.) in wake of President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE's recent attacks on him and the Baltimore area district he represents, saying that Cummings is "doing his job holding this administration accountable."

"This president wants to distract with his racism so he can avoid accountability for his corruption," Omar said on Twitter. "Cummings is doing his job holding this administration accountable and bringing down healthcare costs, something the President wouldn’t understand."

The show of support from Omar came a day after Trump blasted Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform committee, as a "brutal bully" who oversees a "dangerous" and "filthy" district. 

“Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous,” Trump said on Twitter. 

“His district is considered the Worst in the USA as proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cummings' District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.” 

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Several Democratic lawmakers, including Baltimore city officials, condemned the remarks as racist. Cummings responded by noting that "each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors."

"It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch," he tweeted. "But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."

Cummings has used his role as Oversight chair to continually conduct probes of the Trump administration. Trump's comments about Cummings came weeks after the congressman likened the administration's treatment of migrant children at the southern border to "government-sponsored child abuse."

Trump has repeatedly derided Democratic lawmakers during his time in the White House. Earlier this month, he told Omar and a group of progressive congresswomen to "go back" to the "crime infested" places they came from. 

A Trump campaign rally crowd also chanted "send her back" as the president lashed out at Omar, a Somalian refugee who arrived in the U.S. as a child. Trump has since said that he disagreed with the chant.