President Donald Trump continued to cast attention on Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., and his hometown of Baltimore on Friday, after an attempted break-in at the congressman’s home.
Baltimore police are investigating a burglary at Cummings’ home last weekend, which occurred hours before Trump began assailing Cummings’ congressional district as a rat-infested “mess.”
“I was notified of the intrusion by my security system, and I scared the intruder away by yelling before the person gained entry into the residential portion of the house,” Cummings, 68, said in a statement today.
Trump acknowledged the attempted break-in this morning. “Really bad news!” he wrote on Twitter. “The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed. Too bad!”
The intruder had entered the first-floor hallway of Cummings’ building about 3:40 a.m. Saturday, but did not get into any of the living areas, according to a police report. The intruder, who appeared to be in his 40s, fled on a bicycle when he was confronted by a resident who yelled at him, an officer wrote in the report. No property was stolen, and there were no signs of forced entry.
Cummings, who is serving his 13th term in the House, owns a three-story brick row home in West Baltimore. A tenant lives on the third floor of the property, and Cummings has reported earning between $5,001 and $15,000 in rental income from the property for each year since 2007, according to financial disclosures filed with the House of Representatives.
The burglary was first reported by WJZ, a CBS affiliate in Baltimore.
Cummings has been a vocal critic of the treatment of children held in migrant detention centers. Less than three hours after the reported burglary occurred, Trump said on Twitter that Cummings’s “Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than conditions at the U.S. border with Mexico.
Trump’s comments echoed a recent segment on “Fox & Friends” showing piles of trash in a West Baltimore neighborhood. His comments about crime and mismanagement in the majority-black city led some to accuse Trump of racism. He responded by calling Cummings, who has been hailed as a civil rights icon, “racist.”
Cummings’ home sits on the edge of the Druid Heights neighborhood of West Baltimore. In response to Trump’s criticism, Cummings has vowed to continue working for his constituents. “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily,” he said. “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors.”