Baltimore-born CNN host delivers emotional defense of city after Trump attacks

Baltimore-born CNN host Victor Blackwell delivered an emotional defense of his hometown on Saturday after President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE attacked House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCracks emerge in White House strategy as witness testifies Overnight Defense: Pentagon insists US hasn't abandoned Kurds | Trump expands sanctions authority against Turkey | Ex-Ukraine ambassador says Trump pushed for her ouster On The Money: Trump announces limited trade deal with China | Appeals court rules against Trump over financial records | Trump expands authority to sanction Turkey MORE (D-Md.) and his Baltimore district in an early morning tweetstorm. 

Blackwell began by reading off a series of Trump's tweets during a segment on "CNN Newsroom," noting the president's use of the term "infested." 

"Infested. That’s usually reserved for references to rodents and insects, but we’ve seen the president invoke infestation to criticize lawmakers before," he said before reading a recent tweet by Trump suggesting that freshman Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Thunberg, Rapinoe make BBC's 100 most inspiring women of 2019 Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorses Biden Democratic strategist on Sanders debate performance: 'I just think he might've topped out' MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorses Biden Democratic strategist on Sanders debate performance: 'I just think he might've topped out' MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOmar endorses Sanders presidential bid Ocasio-Cortez to endorse Sanders for president Pennsylvania candidate would be first autistic woman elected to a state legislature MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibKrystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' Omar endorses Sanders presidential bid Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio MORE (Mich.) should "go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

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Blackwell noted that Trump’s use of the term "infested" has frequently turned up in his criticisms of  people of color.

“Donald Trump has tweeted more than 43,000 times. He’s insulted thousands of people, many different types of people,” Blackwell said. “But when he tweets about infestation, it’s about black and brown people.”

Blackwell then paused, visibly tearing up before delivering an impassioned defense of Baltimore.

"The president says about Congressman Cummings’s district," Blackwell said, pausing to regain his composure, "that no human would want to live there."

"You know who did, Mr. President? I did," he continued. "From the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college. And a lot of people I care about still do."

“There are still challenges, no doubt,” Blackwell added. “But people are proud of their community. I don’t want to sound self-righteous, but people get up and go to work there, they care for their families, they love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of congressmen who support you, sir. They are Americans too.”

Blackwell’s comments came hours after Trump slammed Cummings on Twitter as a “brutal bully,” claiming the longtime congressman's Baltimore district is “far worse” and "more dangerous" than the southern border.

“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,” Trump tweeted. “Cumming 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.”

Cummings’s district is 55 percent African American and 35 percent white. 

House Democrats rushed to Cummings’s defense later Saturday, with the caucus's vice chairwoman, Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkMassachusetts Democrats call for 100 percent fentanyl screening of international mail from 'high-risk' nations Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Trump searches for backstops amid recession worries MORE (D-Mass.), saying Trump’s comments are “not the words of a patriot.”