Hamil R. HarrisPolitics

Cummings Invites Trump to Baltimore Amid Feud

At a time when America is embroiled in blood-stained racial strife and many lay the blame at the feet the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has invited President Donald Trump to come to Baltimore and walk with him in a community he said would welcome the president with open arms.

As chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Cummings has spent months looking into the conduct and policies of Trump. After the congressman questioned the poor conditions of immigrant camps at the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump fired back and said Cummings should do more to clean up his “rat- and rodent-infested” 7th Congressional District, which encompasses much of Baltimore.

“I’d love for him to sit down and talk to the doctors at Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland and see the beautiful neighborhoods of our city, and I’d be happy to have him,” Cummings said during the grand opening of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation’s Nature Play Space in Baltimore.

Cummings cited the new venue as an example of how Baltimore is improving.

“It went from a vacant lot used for dumping to an outdoor area for kids to play and the community to gather,” he said.

Earler last week, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson came to Baltimore to hold a press conference at a vacant lot about the city, but things went off-course after a staff member for Morning Star Baptist Church, which owns the lot, asked him to get off the church grounds.

While Carson got the boot and some say Trump will get an even more frigid welcome, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele said as he stood in front of New Shiloh Baptist Church last week that the president should come.

“Mr. President, come on down to the streets —we are ready for you,” Steele said during a July 29 event at the church held by Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. “Put your tweet down, brother, and come to Baltimore.”

Ironically, when Trump was elected in 2016, Cummings was one of the first members of the Congressional Black Caucus to visit him at the White House. At the time, Cummings and officials at Johns Hopkins University thought that they would be working on legislation to lower prescription drugs.

Despite the president’s comments, Republicans and Democrats alike hope the Trump-Cummings feud marks a turning point in political discourse.

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Hamil R. Harris

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the Greater Washington Area. Hamil has chronicled the Million Man March, the Clinton White House, the September 11 attack, the sniper attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the campaign of President Barack Obama and many other people and events. Hamil is currently a multi-platform reporter on the Local Desk of the Washington Post where he writes a range of stories, shoots photos and produces videos for the print and online editions of the Post. In addition, he is often called upon to report on crime, natural disasters and other breaking issues. In 2006 Harris was part of a team of reporters that published the series “Being a Black Man.” He was also the reporter on the video project that accompanied the series that won two Emmy Awards, the Casey Medal and the Peabody Award. Hamil has lectured at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, the American University, the University of Maryland and the University of the District of Columbia. He also lectures several times a year to interns during their semester in the District as part of their matriculation at the Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities.

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