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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 OmarMehdi Hasan gets MSNBC Sunday prime-time show Six ways to visualize a divided America Jamaal Bowman's mother dies of COVID-19: 'I share her legacy with all of you' MORE (D-Minn.) on Sunday defended Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHouse Democrats reintroduce bill to reduce lobbyist influence Trump voters and progressives have a lot in common — and Biden can unite them We must act on lowering cost of prescription drugs MORE (D-Md.) in wake of President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress 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.