Baltimore Sun Editorial Board, Baltimore Mayor Fires Back at Trump: 'Better to Have a Few Rats Than to Be One'

Editors of the Baltimore Sun, one of America's oldest newspapers, and the city's mayor fired back at Donald Trump on Saturday after the president called Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings' district a "rat and rodent infested mess."

Trump labeled Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee, a "brutal bully" in a series of tweets on Saturday after the Democrat called the treatment of migrant children near the southern U.S.-Mexico border "government sponsored child abuse." The president also unleashed fury on the lawmaker's 7th congressional district in Maryland, which includes west Baltimore. "His Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA," the president tweeted. "Cumming['s] 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."

In response, the Baltimore Sun editorial board released an op-ed ⁠— titled "Better to have a few rats than to be one" ⁠— condemning Trump for "attacking an African American lawmaker from a majority black district on the most emotional and bigoted of arguments."

We "would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing," the Sun's editors wrote. "The White House has far more power to affect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone's, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land."

The editors also called Trump "the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women's private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are 'good people' among murderous neo-Nazis."

The president is "still not fooling most Americans into believing he's even slightly competent in his current post," they added. "Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one."

Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also joined the chorus of voices that rebuked Trump's remarks on Saturday. "It's completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American City like Baltimore, and to viciously attack U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero," Young said in a statement shared on Twitter. "Mr. Trump, you are a disappointment to the people of Baltimore, our country, and to the world."

Pelosi defended Cummings in a tweet earlier today, where she called Trump's remarks a "racist" attack. "@RepCummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague," the top Democrat wrote. "We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership."

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press while walking to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House July 19, 2019, in Washington, DC. Editors from the Baltimore Sun and Baltimore's mayor fired back at Trump over the weekend after the president called Democratic lawmaker Elijah Cummings' district a "rat and rodent infested mess." Brendan Smialowski/Getty