The president reiterated his claims Tuesday, while defending his recent attack on Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings. On Saturday, Trump took aim at the House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman, calling his majority-black district in Baltimore "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."
Unsurprisingly, the tweet reignited accusations of racism against Trump. And he predictably denied those claims, and even went so far as to say the African American community was praising him for the disparaging comments.
"I am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world," Trump said. "What I've done for African-Americans in two and a half years, no president has been able to do anything like it."
He continued: "[...] I think I'm helping myself because I'm pointing out the tremendous corruption that's taken place in Baltimore and other Democratic run cities," he said when asked about the political repercussions of his attack on Cummings. "And I'll tell you what. The White House and myself, in letters and emails and phone calls, have received more phone calls than I think on any other subjects of people from Baltimore and other cities corruptly run by Democrats thanking me for getting involved. Those people are living in hell in Baltimore. They're largely African American. You have a large African American population. And they really appreciate what I'm doing, and they've let me know it. They really appreciate it."
The White House has not provided any evidence of these so-called supportive "letters and emails and phone calls." Trump also made the claim just as Quinnipiac University released a new poll showing that three-quarters of black Americans believe Trump is openly racist, while more than half of Americans believe the same thing.
Trump's comments arrive weeks after he was blasted for his racist, xenophobic attacks on Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who are collectively known as "the squad." Trump criticized the freshmen congresswomen's progressive policies, and suggested "they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." All the congresswomen, who are also women of color, are U.S. citizens. Omar was born in Somalia, but became a naturalized citizen nearly two decades ago. The other three women were born in the country.