President Donald Trump is going to Baltimore, one of the most violent cities in the country, after highlighting the violence there earlier this year.
The Republican president launched repeated salvos against officials in the city, as well as Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who represents part of the city on a federal level, starting in late July.
Lynne Patton, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that $16 billion in grants was given to Cummings’s district alone in 2018 and Trump suggested the money “was stolen or wasted,” perhaps by Cummings himself.
“Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!” the president said in a missive at one point, referring to the House Oversight and Reform Committee that Cummings heads. The committee is involved in probing Trump for possible violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
Trump is slated to depart the White House at 5:35 p.m. on Sept. 12 to Baltimore, arriving at the city’s Port Covington Landing Zone about 30 minutes later.
From there, he will travel to the Baltimore Mariott Waterfront in the Inner Harbor, considered one of the safest parts of the city and a major tourist draw.
Trump is scheduled to arrive at the hotel at 6:25 p.m. and participate in a joint fundraising committee reception before delivering remarks at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner at 7:10 p.m.
It will be his first time in Baltimore since calling it “filthy” and “a rat- and rodent-infested mess.” According to the Orkin pest company, Baltimore topped its latest Bed Bug Cities list and was ninth on its list of Rattiest Cities.
Trump told reporters on July 30 that he would visit the city “at the right time.”
He said his administration received a number of phone calls after he made the comments about the city, more than his administration received on “any other subject.”
“Those people are living in hell in Baltimore. They’re largely African-American … and they really appreciate what I’m doing, and they let me know it,” Trump said.
About an hour after his speech is slated to start on Thursday night, Trump’s schedule has him departing to travel back to the White House.
If all goes according to the schedule, Trump will end his remarks around the same time the Democratic 2020 debate takes place in Houston. Ten contenders vying to challenge Trump for the presidency will appear on stage, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and businessman Andrew Yang.
Asked if he would watch the debate, Trump told reporters on Wednesday: “No. Maybe. There’s a chance.”
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