BALTIMORE, Md. (CBS) — Rep. Elijah Cummings indirectly addressed President Trump’s derogatory comments about himself and his hometown of Baltimore in a press conference Saturday, praising his city and urging Americans to visit. Decked out in clothes made by Under Armour, which is headquartered in Baltimore, Cummings said, “I promise you, you will be welcome.”
“Come to Baltimore,” Cummings said. “Do not just criticize us. But come to Baltimore. I promise you, you will be welcome.”
“I promise you we will give you every bit of hospitality we got,” Cummings continued. “Because every time you come to Baltimore, every time you spend a few dollars in a hotel, that means somebody in this neighborhood working. It gives them a job. It gives them hope.”
Cummings also took a shot at Trump, saying, “I do not have time for people who want to trash our city.”
Cummings also said that he had been flooded with stories from Baltimore natives talking about how much they love their city since Mr. Trump sent his first tweet.
“I swear, there’s not a day that goes by without me getting about a thousand emails of support,” Cummings said. “I want to thank Baltimore.”
“It is an honor to be associated with all of these good people,” Cummings said.
Mr. Trump first attacked Cummings in a tweet on Saturday, calling Baltimore a “rat and rodent infested mess.” He has sustained those attacks in the days since, at one point accusing Cummings of being a “racist” himself.
Cummings serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and has been one of the president’s most strident critics in Congress, overseeing sweeping investigations into his administration and business practices.
Cummings thwarted an attempted break-in at his home in the middle of the night last weekend, he said Friday. The 68-year-old congressman, who was home at the time, said that he scared off the early-morning intruder by yelling.
Friday morning, the president tweeted about the reports of a break-in at Cummings home. “Really bad news! The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed,” he wrote. “Too bad!”