CNN’s Victor Blackwell Offers an Emotional Response to Trump’s Racist Baltimore Tweets

Donald Trump started off his Saturday morning with a mean-spirited and racist attack on Congressman Elijah Cummings and the West Baltimore district he represents. CNN’s Victor Blackwell wasn’t having it.

The president singled out Cummings — who notably chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, one of several investigating Trump’s conduct — in a string of morning tweets. He called the Congressman “a brutal bully” and labeled his district as a “rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live[.]”

Even for a president who seems to savor stepping over the line, the harsh and offensive language Trump leveled at an American city where actual Americans live — not to mention the Congressman who represents them — struck a nerve. Nowhere was this more evident than on CNN.

In a brief but powerful segment, CNN anchor Victor Blackwell used concrete examples from recent months and years to highlight Trump’s racist sensibilities. Blackwell also visibly choked up as he defended both Cummings and the Baltimore neighborhood where he himself grew up.

The clip quickly made its way to Twitter, where it was shared widely as the broader discontent over Trump’s latest racist tirade set in.

Cummings also responded to Trump’s tweets, though he didn’t reference the CNN clip. He focused instead on using the situation to highlight the president’s failures as a leader and a negotiator.

It’s not your imagination: Trump’s racism has been louder in recent weeks, particularly in the wake of his harsh comments directed at four progressive Congresswomen collectively known as “the Squad.” Earlier in July, he told the four U.S. citizens, three of whom were born in the U.S., to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Is this a new social media strategy we’re seeing? After all, it’s no secret that Trump loves grabbing headlines. Maybe he, or perhaps just his social team, has realized that a more open embrace of racist sentiments can get him the attention he craves. Or maybe they’re just trying to desensitize us ahead of the 2020 election.