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 TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE attacked House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsFacial recognition tools under fresh scrutiny amid police protests The sad spectacle of Trump's enablers Democrat Kweisi Mfume wins House primary in Maryland 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-CortezIn politics, as in baseball, it ain't over till it's over Goya CEO dismisses critics for praise of Trump: 'I'm not apologizing' Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid MORE (Minn.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressives zero in on another House chairman in primary MORE (Mass.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats see victory in Trump culture war The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid 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 ClarkHouse pushes back schedule to pass spending bills Gun control group rolls out House endorsements Pelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid MORE (D-Mass.), saying Trump’s comments are “not the words of a patriot.”