Trump Targets Sharpton in Latest Attack on Minority Leaders

WASHINGTON (CN) – After a weekend of spitting virtual venom at black Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, President Donald Trump added a new target for his Twitter attacks Monday: the Reverend Al Sharpton.

(AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

Early Monday morning, the president took to his favorite social media platform and quoted a tweet with a photo Sharpton posted of himself on an escalator in Washington, D.C., saying he was on the way to Baltimore. Sharpton was in route to address Trump’s weekend criticism of the city and Cummings, who has represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District since 1996.

Trump said Sharpton had always asked him for personal favors and was “a con man, a trouble maker, always looking for a score.” The president added that Sharpton, who he claims to have known for 25 years, “Hates Whites & Cops!”

“Al Sharpton would always ask me to go to his events. He would say, ‘it’s a personal favor to me.’ Seldom, but sometimes, I would go. It was fine,” Trump wrote in a tweet Monday. “He came to my office in [Trump Tower] during the presidential campaign to apologize for the way he was talking about me. Just a conman at work!”

Sharpton responded in a series of his own tweets Monday, saying if Trump really thought he was a conman, the president would want him as part of his cabinet.

“Trump says I’m a troublemaker & con man. I do make trouble for bigots,” Sharpton said in a tweet Monday.

Another tweet from Sharpton included a photo of Trump speaking with James Brown and Jesse Jackson at a 2006 event hosted by the National Action Network, one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations founded by Sharpton. He said Trump was telling the group why he respected Sharpton’s work, but it is a “different tune now,” he tweeted.

Trump shifted his focus to Sharpton after spending the weekend on Twitter attacking Cummings, saying the lawmaker is racist. The president began his virtual tirade on Saturday when he tweeted Cummings had been a “brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border.”

Two weeks ago, Cummings, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, criticized Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan during a hearing on conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“None of us would have our children in that position,” Cummings said in reference to reports of children in Customs and Border Patrol facilities sitting in their own feces without access to showers. Cummings has been a vocal proponent of improving conditions at makeshift facilities along the border.

But on Saturday, Trump claimed Cummings’ district – which encompasses western Baltimore along with affluent Howard and Hartford County suburbs like Catonsville and Ellicott City – is the worst in the country. The president reposted videos of West Baltimore communities filled with trash, saying, “Why don’t you focus on your district!?”

“As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. 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 tweeted.

The president also questioned the amount and impact of federal dollars given to Cummings’ district.

“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. No human being would want to live there,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”

The comments come two weeks after another Twitter tirade, which the House condemned in a resolution as racist. The president had attacked four freshman Democratic congresswomen of color – Representatives lhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – saying they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” All four women are U.S. citizens.

Representatives from the National Action Network could not be reached for comment Monday.

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