Top aide says Trump’s criticism of black lawmaker not racist

Politics

From left, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., hold a newss conference after the back-to-back hearings with former special counsel Robert Mueller who testified about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top White House aide defends President Donald Trump’s disparaging tweets about an influential black Democratic congressman and his Baltimore district as a justified response to the lawmaker’s criticism of administration border policies.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says Trump was upset over what he perceives to be inaccurate statements by Rep. Elijah Cummings about conditions in which children are being held in detention at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mulvaney tells “Fox News Sunday” that “when the president hears lies like that, he’s going to fight back.”

At a hearing last week, Cummings accused a top administration official of wrongly calling reports of filthy, overcrowded border facilities “unsubstantiated.”

Mulvaney denies that Trump’s Twitter comments Saturday were racist and says Trump would criticize any lawmaker who spoke unfairly about his policies.

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