The tenants in a slew of properties owned by Jared Kushner might agree with Donald Trump's assessment that the majority-black congressional district is a "rat and rodent-infested mess."
On Saturday, Trump lobbed a controversial attack on the district represented by longtime Congressman Elijah Cummings. Launching the attack just minutes after a Fox News segment aired that claimed Cummings had a dirty and disgusting district, Trump wrote that the area of Baltimore is in decrepit conditions.
"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," Trump wrote as part of a series of tweets that directly mirrored the Fox News segment that had just aired.
While the tweets led to new allegations of racism against Trump for describing one of the nation's highest-income majority black districts as "dangerous & filthy," it also brought new attention to some very similar-sounding charges against properties that his own son-in-law owns across the district. As Pro Publica had reported, Kushner faced charges that he bought up a slew of run-down apartment units across Baltimore County and implemented a series of shady practices that targeted the people living there. The story noted that a private investigator who was looking into Kushner's property management company, a man who was actually a supporter of Donald Trump, concluded that "they're nothing but slumlords."
As the Baltimore Sun reported, tenants living in Kushner's apartments complained of "poor maintenance, harsh rent collection techniques, and relentless pursuit of old and sometimes dubious debts generated after tenants moved out." Tenants complained on Yelp of decrepit conditions in some apartments, with construction crews leaving garbage in hallways, leaks that were never repaired, and even rodent infestations that were not addressed. Others warned of predatory renting practices, with schemes aimed at squeezing renters out of fees and evictions without proper notice or protections.As Newsweek reported, the Kushner family real estate company faced more than 170 code violations in Baltimore for failing to comply with local laws, prompting Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to say that local officials may threaten sanctions if the company does not make the needed repairs. Donald Trump continues to come under fire for his own tweets describing Baltimore as a "filthy place," with many pointing out that Trump had just days before said that a group of congresswomen of color should leave the United States if they are going to complain about it.