Top aide says Trump's criticism of lawmaker not racist

Posted at 7:15 AM, Jul 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-28 10:15:52-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top White House aide defends President Donald Trump'stweets 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.