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Trump mocks Democrats, vows new tax cut on Baltimore visit

BALTIMORE (AP) — President Donald Trump sought to boost the spirits of Republican lawmakers, mocking Democrats and promising a new tax cut package, as he returned to the city he recently disparaged as a “rat and rodent infested mess.”

Trump spoke Thursday to House Republicans attending an annual retreat in a hotel on Baltimore’s waterfront. Protesters gathered nearby. But inside, the president found a friendly audience of legislators whose political futures are closely tied to how well he performs in next year’s election. They greeted him with a chant of “four more years.”

Trump obliquely addressed his earlier insults against Baltimore, promising Republicans would “fight for the future of cities like Baltimore that have been destroyed by decades of failed and corrupt rule.”

He said “the left-wing agenda” of regulations, crippling taxes and “unrestricted migration” has undermined law enforcement and devastated America’s inner cities.

Trump had lashed out at Baltimore in a series of July tweets critical of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, who represents the city’s majority-black 7th Congressional District. Cummings also chairs the House oversight panel conducting numerous investigations of the administration’s policies and work.

On Thursday, Trump emphasized some of the biggest wins of his presidency, such as boosting military spending, slashing regulations and expanding a program that gives veterans the option to see private doctors outside the Veterans Affairs medical system. He touted the $1.5 trillion tax cut package passed in 2017 and promised to deliver another tax cut proposal next year.