Ex-Congresswoman Says Trump's Language in Baltimore Attacks Designed to 'Exterminate' Minorities: 'This Is the Nazi Playbook'

A former Democratic congresswoman on Monday condemned the language President Donald Trump used to attack congressman Elijah Cummings and his hometown district this weekend, calling it "Hitlerian" and rhetoric straight from "the Nazi playbook."

During a segment on MSNBC's Hardball on Monday, former Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) slammed the president for calling Cummings' Baltimore district a "rat and rodent infested mess." Before she addressed the president's language, the show's host, Chris Matthews, aired a clip of Fox News anchor Chris Wallace telling acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney that Trump has a history of using the term "infested" to attack members of the Congress members of color. The word "sounds like vermin," it's "sub-human," Wallace said.

"'Infested.' It's 'vermin.' It's a Hitlerian term... He's obsessed with this thing about cities," Matthews said, before turning to Edwards.

"This is the Nazi playbook, right? You dehumanize people. You say they're infested. It gives you a reason to...," Edwards said.

"Well, to exterminate them or something like that," Matthews interrupted.

"Exterminate them," Edwards continued, Trump has "done it for everyone of these cities and what many of these cities have in common is a majority African-American population, in some cases, African American leadership, and he goes at them."

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Trump called Cummings a "brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men and women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border," before then harshly criticizing the lawmaker's Baltimore district. The president's remarks came after the Cummings, who's chair of the House Oversight Committee, called the treatment of migrant children near the southern U.S.-Mexico border "government-sponsored child abuse."

"His Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA," the president said. "Cumming [sic] 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, Democratic leaders and officials from Baltimore quickly moved to condemn Trump's tweets on Saturday afternoon, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a "racist" attack.

"Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors," Cummings tweeted in response. "It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."

The hashtag #WeAreBaltimore also began trending on Saturday evening, with tens of thousands of Americans voicing their support for Baltimore and Cummings in light of Trump's attacks.

Donna Edwards
Ex-Democratic congresswoman Donna Edwards on Monday condemned Donald Trump for using the word "infested" to attack minorities and minority communities. MSNBC/Screenshot