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 TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE attacked House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBaltimore unveils plaques for courthouse to be named after Elijah Cummings GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel 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-CortezDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Moore defends Sanders's reputation: 'We don't want the fake, and the phony and the fraudulent' MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyThe Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power Pressley says she 'would welcome the opportunity' to educate DeVos after abortion, slavery comparison Massachusetts governor apologizes after calling Pressley speech a 'rant' MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive 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 ClarkSanders, Warren battle for progressive endorsements Democrats ramp up calls for war powers vote after Iran strike Nearly all Democrats expected to back articles of impeachment MORE (D-Mass.), saying Trump’s comments are “not the words of a patriot.”