GOP Representative Mark Meadows on Monday praised his friend Elijah Cummings, who was recently the recipient of President Donald Trump’s “racist” attacks on his character and home district. He also defended the President, saying he was not “a racist.”
Meadows, who has a close relationship with both Cummings and Trump, made his comments in a text message sent to CNN political commentator Rick Santorum, who read it on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” on Monday evening, after previously getting the representative’s permission to do so.
“No one works harder for his district than Elijah. He’s passionate about the people he represents, and no, Elijah is not a racist. I’m friends with both President Trump and Chairman Cummings. I know them both well and neither is a racist,” Meadows said in the text message.
Trump’s attacks, which came over the weekend, followed remarks by Cummings that conditions at the border were terrible, which apparently prompted Trump to comment that Cummings’ district which is majority black and includes parts of Baltimore was “disgusting” and conditions there were “FAR WORSE and more dangerous.”
The President also said that no one would want to live there because it was a “filthy place.” Meadows allegedly offered to visit Baltimore with President Trump to assess conditions in the city, according to Santorum, a former Republican senator.
Earlier this year, Meadows was attacked by Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib for using a black woman to prove that allegations of racism against President Trump were false. At the time, Tlaib accused the GOP representative of being racist himself, while Cummings backed his friend and stood in his defense.
“You’re one of my best friends. I know that shocks a lot of people,” Cummings said of Meadows after the incident.