Both the creator and star of “The Wire” publicly criticized President Trump for negative comments he made about the city of Baltimore and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.
On Saturday, Trump sent out a series of tweets criticizing Cummings as a “brutal bully” for his treatment of border patrol officials at committee hearings. The president suggested that conditions at the Southern Border are better than those in Baltimore, which he described as “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
David Simon, who created the acclaimed series depicting crime, political corruption and violence in the Maryland city, took to Twitter to deride Trump for his comments.
“If this empty-suit, race-hating fraud had to actually visit West Baltimore for five minutes and meet any of the American citizens who endure there, he’d wet himself,” Simon wrote.
The Emmy-winning writer and producer previously worked as a crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun and has wrtitten several books on the subject of crime.
Simon, a Baltimore resident, sent another post later in the day that read: “#WEAREBALTIMORE and there's a block party today on my southside street. This is a city of good Americans who deserve more than a grifting, hollow and self-absorbed failure of a man as their president. @realDonaldTrump is a permanent stain on our land.”
Shortly after Simon’s tweetstorm, one of the main characters on the show, backed up his former boss’ comments. Dominic West, who played Detective Jimmy McNulty in all five seasons of “The Wire,” lambasted Trump in an email sent to The Guardian.
“What would a lonely hysterical neurotic who uses hand cleanser all day understand about a vibrant community like Baltimore?” he asked. “Martin Amis said of Fred West the serial killer that he was a ‘colossus of mendacity.’ It’s an apt description of Trump.”
While the actor’s comments ended there, Simon was just getting started. After his initial tweet criticizing Trump for his views on Baltimore, Simon continued to respond to detractors on Twitter with cutting rhetoric throughout the weekend.
When one commenter made the point that Rep. Cummings is part of the problem in Baltimore, Simon explained his limited role in affecting municipal policy.
“U.S. Representatives have no jurisdiction over municipal law enforcement or state courts. And with the exception being one of 435 votes on legislative issues, they do not operate the U.S. Department of Justice. But your capital letters are exciting for the kids,” he wrote.
When others made the point that “The Wire” didn’t paint Baltimore in a kind light, Simon was quick to defend the significance of the HBO drama.
“You dope. The show addressed itself to the systemic and historical forces arrayed against the American city for generations. It wasn't so submoronic as to argue that one US representative could be held accountabile [sic] for US urban policy or lack thereof. For that, we require Trump,” he fired back at one critic.
He also took a shot at those who claimed Trump is right about the blight of Baltimore. For example, he cut down one person who noted that he "literally just admitted it’s a s---hole.”
“The president is ‘literally’ a simplistic, racist moron. I am ‘literally’ the guy writing stuff about the last century of U.S. policy, about the drug war and mass incarceration, about Brown v. and white flight, about all of modern U.S. history to which your kind stays mute.”