A rat was spotted scurrying through a Baltimore reporter’s live shot as she reported on President Donald Trump’s tweets about the Democrat-controlled city’s growing rat infestation problem.
On Monday, FOX45 Maxine Streicher was reporting from west Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, where residents conceded that President Trump’s remarks about the city’s worsening conditions.
— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) July 29, 2019
“We spoke with a lot of people today who call Sandtown home and are deeply offended by the president’s comments, but they will be the first to tell you that, yes, this area has its fair share of problems, and continues to struggle with crime and poverty,” Streicher reported.
The report featured Sandtown resident Darriel Harris, who acknowledged it’s true that the area — and other parts of Rep. Elijah Cummings’ (D-MD) 7th congressional district — is plagued by issues.
“There’s truth that there’s a bunch of problems here in this city,” said Harris. “There’s a bunch of problems in this district, there’s things that need to be addressed.”
A rat was seen running out of a dilapidated building as Streicher reported that residents believe President Trump should consider visiting the area to “take a look at things for himself.”
Over the weekend, President Trump eviscerated Cummings’ over Baltimore, saying his district’s conditions ae “far worse” than those inside immigrant detention facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA,” President Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday. “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.”
Democrats immediately raced to denounce the president’s comments, calling them racist and insensitive, though lawmakers did not dispute his remarks with data dispelling Baltimore’s laundry list of problems.
“Rep Cummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague,” House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) tweeted. “We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership.”
President Trump responded to the outcry, stating his comments directed at Cummings were in no way racist.
“[T]here is nothing wrong with bringing out the very obvious fact that Congressman Elijah Cummings has done a very poor job for his district and the City of Baltimore.” he tweeted. “Just take a look, the facts speak far louder than words!”
The president then said Democrats were playing the race card in an attempt to discredit his argument.
“The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people,” he stated. “The Dems should stop wasting time on the Witch Hunt Hoax and start focusing on our Country!”
As President Trump pointed out, the city does indeed suffer from a rodent problem, which was detailed in the documentary film Rat Film, which aired on PBS in 2018. The Baltimore Sun even published an opinion-editorial in November 2016 — Trump’s right: Declare Baltimore a ‘disaster’ and rebuild it — in which Sean Kennedy, a visiting fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute, called for the city to be labeled a “disaster” and undergo extensive rebuilding efforts.