Over the last four years, weekends haven’t officially started without an unhinged tweetstorm from Donald Trump. This weekend was no different. On Saturday morning, Trump uncorked a blizzard of tweets attacking one of his persistent tormentors on Capitol Hill, House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings. Trump irately demanded to know why Cummings wasn’t doing more to clean up his hometown of Baltimore.
The criticism came in fast and hard, with dozens of celebrities and ordinary folks blasting Trump for this unwarranted cheap shot. For example, “CNN Newsroom” weekend anchor Victor Blackwell, a Baltimore native, made an impassioned on-air defense of his hometown. Watch here.
Some argued that the tweets were racist, given Trump’s past history of throwing 280-character grenades at politicians of color and the fact that Cummings’ district is 53 percent black. However, business consultant and political commentator Eric Garland thought there was another explanation. He thought Trump had been thrown into a conniption fit after yet another blizzard of subpoenas from Cummings.
The Baltimore Sun chimed in with a scorching editorial that suggested Trump has “far more power” to clean up Charm City than Trump ever will. The Sun concluded that this tweetstorm proves yet again that Trump is “not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post.”
But perhaps the most blistering response of all came from House Foreign Relations Committee chairman Elliot Engel, whose north Bronx district is a short ride on the subway or Metro-North from Trump Tower. Engel happened to notice that for all of Trump’s caterwauling about Baltimore, he isn’t doing a good job keeping his own restaurants clean.
Engel was referring to a report in the (New York) Daily News about the appalling state of some of Trump’s restaurants. For example, in July 2018, the Trump Tower cafe was flagged for “evidence of mice or live mice” around the kitchen. Health inspectors found that conditions at the cafe were “conducive to attracting vermin.” They came back to inspect the mezzanine bar a month later, and found violations of food handling procedures. In January, inspectors flagged the cafe again for not keeping foods protected from “potential sources of contamination.”
It turns out that Trump Tower’s restaurants have racked up a litany of violations since at least 2014. Past inspections have seen the cafe flagged for sightings of roaches and flies. Indeed, Trump’s properties in the New York area have been flagged for numerous health code violations.
So Trump whines about Cummings not doing enough to keep Baltimore clean when he can’t seem to keep his own restaurants up to code? Perhaps Trump would do well to remember the old adage, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.”
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