WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Saturday called Baltimore a “very dangerous & filthy place” and suggested that Democratic politicians, including Rep. Elijah Cummings, had made the city all but uninhabitable.

Leaders of Trump’s own party appear to disagree: House Republicans have scheduled their yearly policy retreat for a downtown Baltimore hotel in September, according to two senior Republicans familiar with the plans.

That could present an uncomfortable situation for Trump, as sitting presidents customarily speak each year at their own party’s House retreat.

The Republicans spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe arrangements that have yet to be made public. The website for the hotel, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, and multiple third-party hotel booking sites show the hotel as sold out for the days of the retreat, Sept. 12 to 14, while showing availability at other nearby hotels.

During past congressional retreats, Capitol Police have cordoned off the premises to all but lawmakers and authorized attendees, meaning no unrelated guests are permitted.

The House Republican Conference handles the retreat planning in conjunction with the nonprofit Congressional Institute. Jeremy Adler, a spokesman for Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., did not respond on Monday. Congressional Institute Chairman Mark Strand did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.


Trump spent the weekend issuing Twitter attacks on Baltimore and Cummings, D-Md., the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

The panel has issued multiple subpoenas targeting the Trump administration. The committee voted last week to authorize subpoenas for White House work communications sent via personal email and cellphone, amid questions about whether the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in law Jared Kushner violated federal record-keeping laws.

Cummings has also sought testimony from White House counselor Kellyanne Conway after a government watchdog found that she violated a law that forbids federal government employees from engaging in certain campaign activities.

“If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical “oversight” is a joke!” Trump said in one Sunday tweet.

The Marriott Waterfront is not in Cummings’s district, though just barely – it’s located four blocks inside the edge of Rep. John Sarbanes’s circuitous 3rd district in Baltimore’s Harbor East neighborhood.

The GOP retreat was originally scheduled for the remote Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in late January, but Republican leaders postponed it due to the then-pending government shutdown. Democrats also postponed their retreat, rescheduling it for May at a suburban Virginia resort.

Baltimore has been a frequent destination for both parties’ legislative retreats. Republicans last held their retreat in the same Marriott in 2016; Democrats huddled at a nearby Hyatt Regency last year.

Lawmakers and congressional staff are fond of Baltimore as a retreat location due to its proximity to Washington, cutting down on travel time to and from the Capitol, as well as the wealth of off-premises tourism options for family members who sometimes join them.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: