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 TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE attacked House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman 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.) 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-CortezGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Greene: McCarthy 'doesn't have the full support to be Speaker' Omar calls out Boebert over anti-Muslim remarks, denies Capitol incident took place MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Boebert apologizes to Muslims as Democrats call for 'real action to confront racism' Omar calls out Boebert over anti-Muslim remarks, denies Capitol incident took place MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Will media portrayals of Rittenhouse lead to another day in court? Evidence for a GOP takeover mounts — Democrats must act fast MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Tlaib 'fearful' as social spending plan heads to Senate For Democrats it should be about votes, not megaphones 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 ClarkBiden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions Pelosi, moderates inch closer to infrastructure, budget deal House Democrats return to advance Biden's agenda in face of crises MORE (D-Mass.), saying Trump’s comments are “not the words of a patriot.”