Ask 'slumlord' Jared Kushner: Pelosi criticizes Trump's Baltimore comments

Rebecca Morin

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized President Donald Trump's verbal attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings and Baltimore, saying that the president should talk to his "slumlord" son-in-law Jared Kushner about conditions affecting residents in the Maryland city.

“The president — this comes as no surprise — really doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday. “But maybe you could ask his son-in-law, who is a slumlord there, if he wants to talk about rodent infestations.”

Kushner is also a senior adviser to the president.

Trump over the weekend criticized Baltimore as "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess," and said Cummings, who represents a portion of the city, isn't doing enough to help it.

Trump has repeatedly doubled down on the statements and attacks directed at the African American Democrat and the majority Black city. Many have criticized Trump's remarks as racist but the president denies that they are.

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Pelosi was referencing complaints about apartments and townhomes that the Kushner family real estate firm owns in the Baltimore area. Residents in the past have complained of mold, leaks and mice, according to a 2017 investigation by the New York Times and ProPublica.

In 2017, Kushner's firm violated housing codes more than 200 times in just 10 months, according to a release issued by the Baltimore County government. The company only moved to fix the problems after being threatened with fines, the release continued.

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Pelosi has repeatedly pushed back against Trump's characterizations of Baltimore, the city where the Democratic leader was born and raised. Pelosi's father Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., was a congressman who represented parts of Baltimore and was later elected as mayor of the city.

Pelosi's brother, Thomas J. D’Alesandro III, also later served as mayor of Baltimore.

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Thursday, the House speaker continued to defend Cummings as “a pride of Baltimore."

"To see the president demean a great leader like Elijah Cummings shows his own insecurity and his own lack of understanding about what progress really is," Pelosi said.

"You really have to consider the source," she concluded.

Contributing: Associated Press

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pelosi on Trump's Baltimore dig: Ask 'slumlord' Jared Kushner