BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After weeks of denigrating the city, President Trump is coming to Baltimore.
Why is he coming?
The president will stop in the City he called a “rat and rodent-infested mess” for a Republican retreat that had previously been scheduled to be in West Virginia last January.
The members of Congress are meeting from Thursday through Saturday at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel in Harbor East, but Trump is only set to be in Baltimore on Thursday.
It’s his first visit to Charm City as a sitting president and since his critical comments aimed at U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings.
How does this affect Baltimore commuters?
Heavy traffic is expected between 4 and 8 p.m., and multiple intersections near the hotel’s area will be shut down or detoured.
DOT said drivers should avoid the downtown area south of Baltimore Street between Martin Luther King Blvd to N. Central Ave.
Due to traffic modifications and temporary road closures tomorrow, 9/12/2019, @BmoreCityDOT is urging motorists to avoid the area South of Baltimore St between N Martin Luther King, Jr. Bl to N Central Av. Consider using @mtamaryland transportation. #BalTraffic pic.twitter.com/LzdAaWUqAU
— Baltimore OEM (@BaltimoreOEM) September 11, 2019
Downtown employees are encouraged to begin their commutes before 4 p.m. if possible to avoid delays.
Wait, what did President Trump say about Baltimore?
Starting on July 27, President Trump began tweeting about Rep. Elijah Cummings and the 7th District- of which Baltimore is included in- saying that Cummings was a “brutal bully” in reference to his comments about the conditions at the southern U.S.-Mexico border, claiming that Baltimore was “FAR WORSE and more dangerous,”
….As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
Cummings’ district includes parts of both Baltimore City and Baltimore County, along with a majority of Howard County.
Cummings responded to Trump on Twitter, citing that he goes home to his district daily and that it is his “moral duty to fight for my constituents.” He added that he and Trump can address prescription drug prices together.
This began the Twitter war that wouldn’t end- at least not for a while.
- President Donald Trump Criticizes Rep. Elijah Cummings, Calls Maryland’s 7th District A ‘Disgusting Rat, Rodent Infested Mess’
- President Trump Calls Al Sharpton A ‘Conman,’ Continues Twitter Attack On Baltimore, Rep. Cummings
- ‘Today We Stand United’ | Mayor Young, Baltimore City Leaders Denounce President Trump’s Tweets
- President Trump Calls Rep. Cummings ‘Racist’, Continues Criticizing Him, Baltimore
It prompted an outcry from Maryland lawmakers and even presidential candidate Kamala Harris, whose campaign headquarters are in Baltimore.
“I am proud our campaign headquarters is in Rep. Elijah Cummings’ district. Baltimore had become home to my team and it’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city.”
He continued tweeting over the last week of July into August, claiming that Baltimore had wasted money sent to aid the city over the years.
The president never offered any evidence toward these claims.
Are there protests planned?
Yes, specifically one with a group calling itself the “Baltimore Welcoming Committee,”
The group will protest at Columbus Park at Eastern Avenue and South President Street at 4 p.m.
“Let’s show the world that racist RAT Trump is NOT welcome in Baltimore! It’s time to rally against racism and white supremacy!” the group said on its Facebook page.
What time is he getting here?
The White House nor the president himself have confirmed exactly when he will be speaking or arriving in Baltimore, but the Baltimore Department of Transportation has issued warnings to drivers that heavy traffic is expected between 4 and 8 p.m.