Trump attacked Cummings’ 7th Congressional District after his comments about inhumane conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border.
As the president geared up on Thursday to make his first visit to the city since his slew of insults, protesters prepped the downtown streets for his arrival, inflating a giant depiction of Trump as a rat and changing the name of Baltimore’s President Street to President Barack Obama Avenue.
The Trump rat balloon was placed in view of the Waterfront Marriott, where the president spoke Thursday evening as part of his two days attending the House Republican Conference retreat.
As Trump’s motorcade sped through the streets, dozens of protesters jeered and waved rat-themed props.
One woman posted a video on Twitter saying the president waved in response:
“I’m sure he thinks they’re his supporters,” one Twitter user responded.
Cummings had said in August that he hoped the president would pay the city a visit, saying, “The president is welcome in our district, to go through the 7th Congressional District, and he will see strong people who get up and they go out to work on the early bus.”
However, Trump would not be inspecting conditions in the city. According to the White House, the president had no plans in Baltimore beyond his speech, which ended up mostly being about his accomplishments as president.
The Baltimore Sun reported that Trump rehashed his criticisms of the city toward the end of his speech, saying, “We’re going to fight for the future of cities like Baltimore that have been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule.”
He also called the “great American cities” of Los Angeles and San Francisco “an embarrassment” at the hands of Democratic officials and said “Republicans want to rebuild our inner cities and provide a future of limitless opportunity for all Americans.”