- "Al is a scammer," Trump said on Twitter after the minster announced a visit to Baltimore. "He hates whites and cops!"
- "Trump says I’m a troublemaker & con man. I do make trouble for bigots. If he really thought I was a con man he would want me in his cabinet," Sharpton tweeted.
- Baltimore, a historic port city of 600,000, with rich neighborhoods but also districts ravaged by poverty, has one of the highest homicide rates in the country.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, on Monday attacked the black pastor civil rights activist Al Sharpton on Twitter, which generated new accusations of racism against the president after his recent attacks against legislators who are ethnic minorities. Trump, who is seeking reelection in 2020, harassed Al Sharpton after a weekend marked by his attacks on Elijah Cummings, a black Democratic congressman who represents a district in Baltimore, a black-majority city.
“Al is a scammer,” Trump said on Twitter after the minster announced a visit to Baltimore. “He hates whites and cops!” added the president about Sharpton, who was a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in 2004. Sharpton replied by accusing Trump of using racial division. “It has a particular poison towards blacks and color people,” he said when asked by journalists.
“Trump says I’m a troublemaker & con man. I do make trouble for bigots. If he really thought I was a con man he would want me in his cabinet,” Sharpton tweeted.
The controversy broke out on Saturday when Trump called the Cummings district a “rat-infested” place where no one would want to live. “Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull…” Trump Tweeted. “Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!”
Baltimore, a historic port city of 600,000, with rich neighborhoods but also districts ravaged by poverty, has one of the highest homicide rates in the country.
Trump’s accusations against Sharpton and Cummings take place less than two weeks after the House of Representatives condemned Trump for “racist” comments for attacking four Democratic congresswomen, known as the “Squad,” who belong to ethnic minorities and are in the most progressive wing of the party.
“If the Democrats are going to defend the ‘Squad’ of the radical left and the King of the Failed Baltimore Elijah, it will be a long road to 2020,” Trump tweeted Monday.
Trump’s tweets provoked a storm of criticism, not only of the Democratic leader in Congress, Nancy Pelosi but also of the Democrats seeking the nomination of his party to face Trump in the presidential elections of 2020.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, a favorite in the polls, considered Trump’s attack despicable. “Once again, he has proven unable to hold the position,” Biden tweeted on Saturday.
Senator Bernie Sanders again said that Trump is racist: “This is a shame,” he said on Sunday.
The two black senators , Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, also deplored what happened. Harris, in particular, said she was “proud” of having the headquarters of her campaign in the Cummings district.
Trump’s comments are seen as a calculated but risky move, aimed at both the base of disgruntled working-class whites who contributed to take him to the White House in 2016, as well as other whites who have not decided the one to support in the elections of the next year.