Top aide: Trump's criticism of black lawmaker not racist

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."

RELATED: Donald Trump tweets about Baltimore

Donald Trump tweets about Baltimore
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Donald Trump tweets about Baltimore
Our great African American President hasn't exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!
@realDonaldTrump so very rude and racist very disappointed in you Mr. Trump
@realDonaldTrump that's not at all racist, go to bed.
@realDonaldTrump you're an idiot Donny. Our President is two things you'll never be: A decent person and President.
@realDonaldTrump of all your past commentary Mr. Trump this has to be the most ignorant and idiotic. Really Mr. Trump? Really? @VOCMOpenline
@realDonaldTrump you are an awful human

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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