Speed Reads

Glass Houses

Mick Mulvaney defends Trump's 'vermin' attack on Cummings' district, gets pushback from Fox News, facts

On Saturday, President Trump shot off a couple of tweets attacking Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and his majority-black congressional district, which includes much of Baltimore. Trump has gotten some pushback for these attacks, but acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney defended Trump's tweets when Fox News Sunday when Chris Wallace said they seemed "the worst kind of racial stereotype."

"Look, I was in Congress for six years," Mulvaney said. "If I had poverty in my district like they have in Baltimore ... and I spent all of my time in Washington, D.C., chasing down this Mueller investigation, this bizarre impeachment crusade, I'd get fired. And I think the president's right to raise that. It has absolutely zero to do with race." According to Census data, Mulvaney's 5th Congressional District in South Carolina has a median income about $10,000 below Cummings' 7th District in Maryland, and its poverty level is either about the same or higher than Maryland's 7th.

Wallace pointed out that along with the district's above-average income, "Columbia, Maryland, which is part of the Cummings' district, has been called the safest city in America." And he continued:

Wallace: You say it has zero to do with race — there is a clear pattern here, Mick. ... Before his inauguration, the president tweeted about John Lewis, a black congressman that he should ... spend time in his crime-infested district. Then, two weeks ago, he goes after these four members of "The Squad," all women of color, and says they should go back to the crime-infested countries from which they come. Then he talks about Elijah Cummings and he says his district is rat and rodent-infested.

Infested. It sounds like vermin. It sounds subhuman. And these are all six members of Congress who are people of color.

Mulvaney: I think you're spending way too much time reading between the lines...

Wallace: I'm not reading between the lines. I'm reading the lines. [Fox News Sunday]

Maybe this is personal for Trump? Either way, people who live in rodent-infested houses probably shouldn't throw vermin comments. Peter Weber