Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney appeared on Fox News Sunday to defend President Donald Trump against accusations of racism, Raw Story reports.
Trump is being accused of racism for posting a handful of Twitter messages meant to insult Representative Elijah Cummings, in one of which he described the Democrat’s district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” In another Twitter message, Trump said that “no human being” would want to live in the district.
According to Mulvaney, Trump’s attacks on Cummings and other non-white members of Congress have nothing to do with race. According to the official, the only reason Trump attacked Cummings was his “illegitimate” remarks about conditions in detention centers at the southern border.
Host Chris Wallace challenged Mulvaney’s claims, telling the White House official that the median household income in Cummings’ district is “in the upper half nationally.”
“I think Maryland on a per capita basis the richest state in America yet you still see pictures on the internet of complete poverty in Baltimore, Maryland,” Mulvaney responded, but Wallace continued to press him, pointing out that Trump has already feuded with non-white members of Congress, frequently using similar language to describe communities of color.
“Nobody objects to the president defending his border policy but this seems to be the worst kind of racial stereotype,” the host said.
“Black congressman, majority black district. I mean, no human being would want to live there? Is he saying the people who live in Baltimore are not human beings?”
As Vox journalist Aaron Rupar pointed out in a Twitter thread, Trump has used the word “infested” six times in his tweets, each time to refer to a community of color.
Wallace also reminded Mulvaney that Trump had made similar remarks about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, telling the four congresswomen to “go back” where they came from, in attacks which have been widely condemned as racist.
“There is a clear pattern here,” Wallace said.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Trump’s attacks on Cummings were denounced as racist by House Democrats and White House hopefuls, and by others in the public sphere. The Baltimore Sun editorial board condemned the president in a scathing op-ed, likening him to a rat.
Denunciations and calls for civility did nothing to slow the president’s attacks down, however. Trump has continued to attack Cummings, tweeting insulting messages and videos.
The president also retweeted a gory video posted by British far-right pundit Katie Hopkins. As Axios pointed out, Hopkins is known for making racist and Islamophobic remarks, and this is not the first time for the president to promote her content.