US President Donald Trump has denied being a racist, after remarks he made about a black Democratic Congressman and the US city of Baltimore.
Mr Trump had attacked Rep Elijah Cummings, calling Mr Cummings’ mostly-black Baltimore district a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess”.
Several leading Democrats, including House speaker Nancy Pelosi, criticised the president for his language.
Mr Trump deflected the criticism, accusing Mr Cummings of racism.
“There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district,” the president wrote in one of several tweets on Sunday.
“Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts,” he wrote.
As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Mr Cummings has instigated a series of investigations into the Trump administration, including its handling of migrants at detention centres.
President Trump’s remarks came just weeks after he was criticised for another tweet telling four Democratic Congresswomen – all women of colour – to “go back” to the “crime infested” places they came from.
All four Congresswomen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar – are American citizens. Three were born in the US, while one, Ilhan Omar, came to the US as a child refugee.