Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings on Saturday invited President Donald Trump and other Americans to Baltimore, taking the high road after a barrage of presidential tweets disparaging the black-majority city and its long-serving Democratic congressman.
Cummings made his first public remarks after a week of Trump's name-calling and criticism during the opening of a neighborhood park near his home. He called Baltimore "a great community."
He reminded those gathered at the park in Druid Heights of the city's history, home to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and, more recently, the author Ta-Nehisi Coats.
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At 68, and using a walker, the congressman said he doesn't have time for those who criticize the city where he grew up. He wants to hear from people willing to help make the community better. The park was built on a formerly vacant lot often filled with trash.
"Do not just criticize us. Come to Baltimore," he said, "and I promise you will be welcome."
Trump lashed out in tweets at Cummings, calling his district a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."
Cummings chairs the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee, one of the committees investigating the president and his administration.
He said Saturday that he is not calling for Trump's impeachment. "I want to be fair to him, too," Cummings said.
Half of House Democrats are now in favor of beginning an impeachment inquiry, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to finish investigations that are already underway before making a final decision.