Baltimore’s Archbishop Lori pushes back against Trump Twitter rant

A boy rides his bicycle on July 29 after volunteering to paint a mural outside the New Song Community Church in the Sandtown section of Baltimore. In the latest rhetorical shot at lawmakers of color, President Donald Trump over the weekend vilified Rep. Elijah Cummings majority-black Baltimore district as a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" where "no human being would want to live." (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)A boy rides his bicycle on July 29 after volunteering to paint a mural outside the New Song Community Church in the Sandtown section of Baltimore. In the latest rhetorical shot at lawmakers of color, President Donald Trump over the weekend vilified Rep. Elijah Cummings majority-black Baltimore district as a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess" where "no human being would want to live." (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore rebuked comments made by President Trump over the weekend, taking issue with the president’s characterization of a congressional district that includes part of the city as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

“It saddens me to see Baltimore severely denigrated by President Trump,” the archbishop said in a statement posted to the archdiocese’s social media accounts on July 27. “Baltimore is near and dear to my heart. It is hometown to more than half a million people.”

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The archbishop acknowledged that “Baltimore has its tragedies and challenges but also its strengths and opportunities.”

“It saddens me to see Baltimore severely denigrated by President Trump,” the archbishop said. “Baltimore is near and dear to my heart. It is hometown to more than half a million people.”

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Archbishop Lori and Auxiliary Bishop Denis Madden also signed a letter dated July 29 along with 10 other faith leaders, condemning the tweet.

“It was horrible, demeaning and beneath the dignity of a political leader who should be encouraging us all to strive and work for a more civil, just and compassionate society,” the letter said.

The letter acknowledges that cities, including Baltimore, face “longstanding and systemic problems” such as “poverty, crime, violence and racism.” People of faith, the letter said, seek to improve conditions.

“Our congregations have a similar vision of health and prosperity for Baltimore, and they are working courageously and effectively to build up the city by their actions—not tearing it down by their words,” the letter said.

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The group of clergy invited the president to visit Baltimore and they asked him, “in the name of all that is good, healthy and decent, stop putting people down. Enough of the harmful rhetoric that angers and discourages the people and communities you are called to serve—more than you know.”

Mr. Trump dispatched a number of tweets over the weekend railing against Rep. Elijah Cummings, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. The president said Mr. Cummings’s Baltimore-area district is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.” It was the president’s latest assault on a prominent lawmaker, and the people he represents, two weeks after he sparked nationwide controversy with racist tweets directed at four congresswomen of color.

In response to the president’s tweets, some people on social media shared images of blighted areas represented in Congress by white Republican lawmakers who have not been subject to the same kind of criticism from Mr. Trump. But the president doubled-down, even sharing with his millions of followers a tweet from a non-American journalist calling the nation’s 25th-largest city a “proper sh*thole.”

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, on July 29 called the president’s comments “just outrageous and inappropriate.” Mr. Hogan, the new chairman of the National Governors Association, said he recently gave an address at the N.G.A. about the angry and divisive politics that “are literally tearing America apart.”

“I think enough is enough,” Mr. Hogan said on the C4 Radio Show in Baltimore. “I mean, people are just completely fed up with this kind of nonsense, and why are we not focused on solving the problems and getting to work instead of who’s tweeting what and who’s calling who what kind of names. I mean, it’s just absurd.”

Michael Steele, the state’s former lieutenant governor who went on to serve as the national chairman of the Republican National Committee, said it was “reprehensible to talk about the city the way” Mr. Trump did, but he hoped the attention would elevate the conversation about how to help urban areas, and he invited the president to be a part of the conversation.

“Put down the cellphone and the tweeting and come walk the streets in this community so that you can see firsthand the good and the difficult that needs to be addressed, and let’s do it together,” Mr. Steele said on the radio show.

For his part, Archbishop Lori said residents of Baltimore deserve respect from their elected leaders.

“Many good people are working together to address Baltimore’s challenges and to build on its strengths,” the archbishop said. “They deserve the support of elected officials and their fellow citizens.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. This report was updated on July 30.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
J Cosgrove
3 weeks ago

Baltimore has some terrible statistics. What are the causes? Who has been in charge? Maybe the archbishop should be addressing this. Where has he been all these years?

Let's see if anything positive for Baltimore comes out of this confrontation. Certainly nothing any Democrat has done has affected the situation much in a positive direction. Baltimore was not always an example of decay.

Ellen B
3 weeks ago

Who is in charge now? Donald J Trump.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
3 weeks ago

You can't blame the President for Baltimore - that is the city, county, and state governments' failure.

J Jones
2 weeks 6 days ago

Trump stated that US Presidents are, as JCosgrove says, "in charge". Well, Trump stated the *black* president was responsible. So, okay, he probably doesn't mean "presidents". He probably means "Black US Presidents" and that's not the same thing as "US Presidents".

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/07/29/us/politics/trump-baltimore.amp.html

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://beta.washingtonpost.com/politics/i-would-fix-it-fast-in-2015-trump-criticized-obama-for-not-doing-enough-to-help-baltimore/2019/07/29/d202ade2-b207-11e9-8f6c-7828e68cb15f_story.html%3FoutputType%3Damp&ved=2ahUKEwjTlqHr0tzjAhW3HzQIHT5iAzYQiJQBMAF6BAgKEAg&usg=AOvVaw3cTslIii5CA5opW86xfkWw&ampcf=1

J Cosgrove
2 weeks 6 days ago

Above I asked who was is in charge of Baltimore. Presidents obviously can influence some things but most things are beyond their control at the city level. If they are of the same party then it will be easier to influence things.

Mark M
3 weeks ago

Trump being in office for 2.5 years is not material.
City, county and state have been controlled by one party for decades. They have ceased to be effective, if they ever were.
It is now about power not results. The Baltimore politicians treat the citizens of Baltimore like serfs.
Trump has zero to do with the piss poor condition of this city.

J Jones
2 weeks 6 days ago

Trump thinks Presidents ARE responsible. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://beta.washingtonpost.com/politics/i-would-fix-it-fast-in-2015-trump-criticized-obama-for-not-doing-enough-to-help-baltimore/2019/07/29/d202ade2-b207-11e9-8f6c-7828e68cb15f_story.html%3FoutputType%3Damp&ved=2ahUKEwjTlqHr0tzjAhW3HzQIHT5iAzYQiJQBMAF6BAgKEAg&usg=AOvVaw3cTslIii5CA5opW86xfkWw&ampcf=1

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 6 days ago

J.Jones
Careful....can you say Chicago-Obama-8 years?

J Jones
2 weeks 6 days ago

It is amazing how resistant some of you are to addressing the conduct of the current president of the United States. It is the wildest avoidant behavior I have ever seen.

J Cosgrove
2 weeks 6 days ago

So what did the president do? He went after someone who is highly critical of him and pointed out that the district the person criticizing him represents has some serious problems. Now the representative is much closer to the problems and actually lives in the area in question. Maybe we should examine what the representative has done in the past to fix the problems. An aside, why are you avoiding the behavior of those that have governed Baltimore.

Judith Jordan
2 weeks 5 days ago

j Cosgrove---
There are many bad areas in big cities, some of which are represented by Republicans. Trump only goes after people who are critical of him. Congressman Cummings is a highly respected Congressman, but Trump trashes him anyway just like he trashes our warriors that he does not like.

You might want to check out poor rural areas, usually run by conservatives, and parts of Trump’s city of New York.

The reality is Trump is in charge of the border and he deliberately created a crisis there where we treat people, especially children, is an inhumane, disgraceful manner. Trump could fix that in a timely manner, but he does not.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 6 days ago

J. Jones
Let’s compromise and just say Trump bears two years of guilt for Baltimore and Obama bears 8 years of guilt for Chicago

Judith Jordan
2 weeks 5 days ago

J Jones---

I agree with you J. It is mind boggling the way Trump supporters excuse him. These are the people who Trump said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and they would still support him. They don't seem to realize how much Trump insulted them with that comment.

Andrew Strada
2 weeks 4 days ago

Well, it would all depend on who he shot. And why.

Judith Jordan
2 weeks 5 days ago

Mark M--
Trump has everything to do with the inhumane and disgraceful way we treat children on the border. There is no excuse for it.

J Cosgrove
2 weeks 5 days ago

No Trump is not in charge of Baltimore. Democrats have run the city for over 50 years. The amazing thing is to watch the apologists for Baltimore and how the Democrats have run these large cities and created the policies that have led to this decay. Where is the archbishop on this?

Franklyn BUSBY
3 weeks ago

Baltimore has always been a working-class city, so there are a multitude of reasons: Major industries went out of business or off-shored production; Once a major seaport, as ships got larger, the harbor was too small to accommodate them; Corrupt politicians of both parties failed to provide oversight to income and taxes; And when they did pay attention, it was often to redirect money and resources to their political cronies; There was tremendous white-flight from the city during the 50's and 60's; Baltimore is home to some major universities, and has a ridiculously large number of churches and religious institutions (resulting in huge plots of property that is not taxable).

J Jones
2 weeks 6 days ago

Duplicate

Mike Macrie
2 weeks 5 days ago

Well when I think of Baltimore, the first thing that comes into my mind is “Poe “ and the Tell - Tale Heart. Of course who could ever forget his famous poem. I think this is very Positive

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Douglas Fang
3 weeks ago

I never saw such an explicit racist in The White House as well as a blind and coward crowd that try to defend this POTUS no matter how despicable his actions or words are. It is beyond my contempt!

Judith Jordan
3 weeks ago

Douglas Fang---
You stated my feelings, and millions of others, exactly. Thank you.

Franklyn BUSBY
3 weeks ago

Not that it provides any consolation, but Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson were both far worse.

Judith Jordan
3 weeks ago

Franklyn BUSBY---
I agree with your comments, including that Jackson and Wilson were worse. However, they lived in different times. Jackson died 15 years before the Civil War and Wilson was born four years before the Civil War. Although, it is very difficult to understand Wilson’s racial positions since he was a very educated man. In 2019, there are no excuses for Trump’s ignorance and bigotry.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 6 days ago

Judith
You do not give Wilson enough”credit”. He was President from 1913-1921 and was the mainspring of The Progressive Movement. He single handedly began a policy of racial segregation in the Federal Government ,causing the dismissal of thousands of blacks from their jobs. He believed there was a scientific basis for racial segregation based on the inherent inferiority of blacks. His approach generated a Southern White Progressive Movement dedicated to separation of the races, erasing the many advancements after the 1870 Civil Rights Act. He was also an adherent the Margaret Sanger analysis of the need for eugenics. He believed all of these policies were soundly based in science and advanced thinking. You might note that the word “Progressive” rightly fell into disuse and it is only in recent years that the word has re-emerged to replace the sobriquet “Liberal” which was sullied by the failures of the Great Society and the Jimmy Carter years.

Judith Jordan
2 weeks 5 days ago

Stuart Meisenzahl---
I agree with your comments about Wilson. His policies did great damage to the black community.

I don’t agree with your implied comments about Margret Sanger. The pro-birth people have done an excellent job of misrepresenting Sanger’s views. She saved many lives by teaching women about birth control, an integral part of women's health care. She courageously went to jail several times for this; sometimes at the request (insistence) of the Catholic Church.

Stuart Meisenzahl
2 weeks 5 days ago

Judith
I do not believe I denigrated Sangers Birth Control position but I did point out that that she equally and vigorously promoted eugenics to address what what she deemed to be burdens on society and inherently intellectually inferior by reason of race. Her birth control position was also that such control would “contain those inferior races” and she actively promoted its use by blacks and other people of color. But to the point ....this eugenics and birth control program was a wellspring of/for the racism which the Progressive Program of Wilson et al promoted

Kevin Murphy
3 weeks ago

What did he say that was racist? The real crime is the corruption and inaction that has resulted in the squalor of the area. Cummings is a hack, part of the machine that has failed.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
3 weeks ago

Kevin Murphy: Agreed! He didn't say anything rascist about the slurpee four or Baltimore or Mr. Cummings. He just spoke the truth.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
3 weeks ago

Kevin Murphy: Agreed! He didn't say anything rascist about the slurpee four or Baltimore or Mr. Cummings. He just spoke the truth.

J Jones
2 weeks 6 days ago

Trump on Obama and presidential responsibility for Baltimore when the President is Black: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/29/us/politics/trump-baltimore.amp.html&ved=2ahUKEwjTlqHr0tzjAhW3HzQIHT5iAzYQiJQBMAB6BAgKEAQ&usg=AOvVaw0NmPkWi1ISDdnQGX7x55_R&ampcf=1

Alan Johnstone
3 weeks ago

Apart from the nicety of language, what your POTUS has said about Baltimore reminds me of the opening chapters of St John's Revelation or Apocalypse writing the descriptions of how the Lord saw gross flaws in some of the churches.

Trump is not eloquent, The time for rhetorical flourishes is past, US needs his bluntness.

And, what on earth justifies the nonsense of the "racist" jibe by this author? I am getting the idea that to some people a POTUS is only allowed to comment on issues exclusively concerned with people who are the same colour or race or sex; and am disgusted by the disingenuous use of abuse rather than addressing the substantive issues.

Franklyn BUSBY
3 weeks ago

While, IMHO, he is an obnoxious ignorant jerk incapable of thoughtfulness or introspection, the problem is not just what the President says, but who he constantly attacks: Try to recall any time during his presidency (or before) when he leveled such crude comments about white women as he did "the squad." Lord knows there are many dying or dead cities and towns in the U.S. Somehow, the President seems to notice only those which are majority non-European. There are dozens of examples during and before his presidency, where Mr. Trump levels criticism only at non-Europeans.

Jeffrey More
3 weeks ago

Nonsense! Trump has leveled what you consider “crude” comments against innumerable white women. See Axios.com, “A List of Trump Attacks on Prominent Women.” He has also, as recently as Sunday, criticized conditions in San Francisco, which is in Pelosi’s district. His comments regarding the women of the “Squad” were in no way racist. Neither were his comments regarding Baltimore, which is, in fact, a hellhole, as recognized by Bernie Sanders, who compared it to something out of the Third World.

Judith Jordan
3 weeks ago

Jeffrey More---
I agree with you that Trump has criticized many white women. However, his attacks on them were aimed mostly at white women who had already criticized him. Nor were his attacks so vile and crude as to tell these women to “go back where they came from,” a uniquely odious comment with a long historical track record of bigotry. Trump is the President. If he opposes the “Squad” then he should argue the policy issues with them, not make
ad hominem attacks.

BTW, one of the things that appalled me about Trump during the campaign was the way he talked about America.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
3 weeks ago

Mr. Busby: How is this part of your comment humble: "he is an obnoxious ignorant jerk incapable of thoughtfulness or introspection."

Judith Jordan
3 weeks ago

Alan Johnston---
Even if Trump is not capable of rhetorical flourishes, he should be able to say things in an appropriate manner. Trump does this to people he is mad at…like a grade school kid.

I agree we are way past time for Trump to be addressing substantive issues instead of spending his time tweeting. He made campaign promises that he is not even dealing with.
Infrastructure promised. Trump said he would build an infrastructure "second to none." Instead we got none.
Healthcare promised. Said he would create better healthcare than what we have; he has produced nothing.
Balanced budget promised. He has increased the budget to the highest in our history.
Congressional Term Limits Promised. Nothing.
Medicare. Promised not to cut it. He cut it in his proposed budget.
They are many more promises not kept.

Please remember when Trump was elected, the Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress, yet he still accomplished very little.

James Schwarzwalder
2 weeks 6 days ago

Judith, I agree that the Republican controlled Congress accomplished very little the first two years of the Trump Administration. Since his election the Republican Party has been gradually made more and more in the image of Trump. When Trump was first elected Republicans like Mitt Romney were critical at worst and on the sidelines at best. There is very little bipartisanship in the Congress. Some say Bill Clinton was the "first black President" while Obama was of mixed race. If Trump is to be believed, he is a "post racial President." By the way Trump is not without support among Blacks, both locally and nationally.

Judith Jordan
2 weeks 5 days ago

James Schwarzwalder—
I agree with your comments. Yes, there are some blacks that support Trump, but the overwhelming view of Trump in the black community is a very negative one. I remember even when Nixon was promoting his Southern Strategy, there were some blacks that supported him. There are always groups who have members that swim in the opposite direction.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
3 weeks ago

Mr. Johnstone: Agreed - "Trump is not eloquent, The time for rhetorical flourishes is past, US needs his bluntness."

Judith Jordan
2 weeks 5 days ago

One can be blunt without being rude and ignorant.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
2 weeks 3 days ago

Ms. Jordan: Sometimes bluntness needs to shock to get the truth across. The President is not being rude; he's telling the truth.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
2 weeks 3 days ago

Ms. Jordan: Sometimes bluntness needs to shock to get the truth across. The President is not being rude; he's telling the truth.

karen oconnell
3 weeks ago

i have read that Jarrid Kushner is owner..landlord of multiple dwellings /buildings in Baltimore. ironic...and disgusting.

Denise Delurgio
3 weeks ago

Karen O'Connell: Are Jared Kushner's building rat infested slums?

J Jones
2 weeks 6 days ago

Yes
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.baltimoresun.com/politics/bs-md-pol-kushner-trump-housing-20190729-iip3g7f4ajfdpeqyv4ebcoqase-story.html%3foutputType=amp

https://www.google.com/amp/s/beta.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/jared-kushner-owns-lots-of-apartments-in-the-baltimore-area-some-infested-with-mice/2019/07/28/0d3cb754-b13b-11e9-8f6c-7828e68cb15f_story.html%3foutputType=amp

https://www.google.com/amp/s/baltimore.cbslocal.com/2019/07/29/jared-kushner-baltimore-properties-mice-infested/amp/

Franklyn BUSBY
3 weeks ago

Let us not forget that Mr. Trump, though under the guise of Trump family members, is also a slum lord. He and his father were both sued by local, state, and federal government agencies, for blatant housing discrimination and red-lining, fraudulent advertising practices, unsafe dwellings. Donald Trump has the singular distinction of having been sued more times in the state of New York for breach of contract and fraud than any person or company in New York history. He will almost certainly be prosecuted (and ought to go to jail) for multi-year and jurisdictional tax fraud immediately after leaving (or being thrown out of) office.

Denise Delurgio
3 weeks ago

When Rep. Elijah Cummings criticizes the President's handling of the border is he a racist? When Rep. Cummings shouts at Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan during a hearing on border conditions is he a racist? When President Trump claims that conditions in Rep. Cummings' District are worse than the border why is he a racist? Race has nothing to do with this dispute.

Franklyn BUSBY
3 weeks ago

No. You are mixing apples and oranges. Cummings is criticizing policies and actions of the Trump Administration. The President, on the other hand, mostly just wallows in the gutter with personal attacks and mis-direction. As a federal official, Cummings has no authority or responsibility for what happens in a city that is only partly in his district. The president, however, has complete authority and responsibility for the actions of his administration--and has gone out of his way to choose utterly incompetent people to head federal agencies, but they are willing to do his bidding.
I loathe and despise everything he represents, but the man is a brilliant street-fighter. Every time his lack of competence, or consciousness, winds up on the front page, he creates some B.S. firestorm that misdirects the people and the media. He may be the best con-man and scam artist in American history.

Ashley Green
3 weeks ago

Franklin,
In principle I completely agree with you. When it comes to his presidency, however, I don’t believe for a minute that anywhere near as many people are actually fooled by Trump’s demagoguery and endless litany of bald-faced as his level of support indicates. As as example, I live in the Chicago area and sometimes listen to Relevant Radio (Catholic) and Moody Radio (Evangelical) just to get their perspective. The commentators on both stations pretend to believe most of Trump’s most obvious lies, if not all of them. Likewise, they perpetuate the absurd idea that he is basically a good and decent man who is just a victim of slander by the “liberal media.” Of course they know that what they are saying is not true: they just pretend to believe it, because doing so suits their political agenda. This is what makes it very difficult to have meaningful dialogue with Trump’s supporters: most of them don’t actually believe what they’re saying. I’m not just talking about his fanatical base, but the other 15% or so of the electorate whose support was necessary to get him elected.

Jeffrey More
3 weeks ago

Let me get this straight. You believe fewer people support Trump than “his level of support” (presumably as reflected in polls) would indicate. As evidence for this belief, you cite commentary on two radio stations which is SUPPORTIVE of Trump. With ZERO evidence, you assert that the Trump-supportive commentators really don’t believe what they’re saying, and neither do the majority of Trump’s supporters in general. Do you really think this makes any sense?

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