CNN anchor Victor Blackwell struggled to keep his emotions in check on Saturday morning as he defended his hometown of Baltimore following President Trump’s Twitter tirade describing the city as a “rodent infested mess” and a place that “no human being would want to live.”
Reacting to a Fox & Friends segment on Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and his home district of Baltimore, the president unleashed a series of attacks against the congressman on Twitter.
“Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous,” he wrote. “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 continued in another tweet. “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.”
The president concluded his tweetstorm by asking why “is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States,” adding that “[n]o human being would want to live there.”
During his broadcast, Blackwell covered the president’s online rant against Cummings and Baltimore, noting that Trump’s use of the word “infested” is part of an easily recognizable pattern.
“That’s usually reserved for references to rodents and insects, but we've seen the president invoke infestation to criticize lawmakers before,’ he stated. “You see a pattern here? Just two weeks ago President Trump attacked four minority congresswomen. ‘Why don't they go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.’ Reminder, three of them were born here; all of them are American. Infested he says.”
Noting that Trump also used a similar line of attack on civil rights icon John Lewis back in 2017, the CNN anchor pointed out that while the president has insulted thousands of people on Twitter, “when he tweets about infestation, it's about black and brown people.”
Reiterating that Trump said no human would want to live in Cummings' district, Blackwell choked up and remained silent for a moment.
“You know who did, Mr. President? I did,” Blackwell emotionally declared. “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 challenges no doubt, but people are proud of their community,” he continued. “I don't want to sound self-righteous, but people get up and go to work there. They care for their families there. 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!”