In yet another racist effort to fire up his base, President Donald Trump recently turned his venom on Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee, and the predominantly African-American population of Baltimore. Trump denounced Baltimore as a “rat-infested” mess with a “corrupt government” that has stolen “billions” of dollars from U.S. taxpayers.
But in a report for the Baltimore Sun, journalists Doug Donovan and Luke Broadwater explain that Trump’s claims are nonsense because Baltimore “doesn’t get anywhere near a single billion dollars” in U.S. support.
Baltimore’s numbers are the worst in the United States on Crime and the Economy. Billions of dollars have been pump… https://t.co/8mYWBiEs51— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1564451134.0
Donovan and Broadwater fact-check Trump with data published on the website USASpending.gov, noting that while “individuals, agencies and other institutions in Baltimore have received roughly $8 billion over the past two years,” the “vast majority” of that money “has not gone to City Hall to distribute.” Instead, they point out, “at least $3 billion” has gone to “the Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corp. and the University of Maryland for research, medical care and other programs.”
$1 billion of the money, they add, “represents payments by the Social Security Administration to retirees and disabled people” — and “about $200 million goes to nonprofit agencies that help people with HIV or AIDS,” according USASpending.gov data.
The Sun reporters note that Baltimore’s city government “has received $380 million in federal assistance over the last two fiscal years for operating and capital expenses.” But that is well below the type of figures Trump has been tossing around.