News & Politics

Cummings on 'The Squad': 'I'm Proud of Them,' 'They Love This Country,' 'They're Brilliant'

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in Washington. Photo credit: Nicholas Ballasy

WASHINGTON — Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told reporters that the freshman lawmakers in “the Squad” are “brilliant” legislators who “love this country” and argued that President Trump is wrong to suggest anything to the contrary.

“I hear so many comments about the Squad, the so-called Squad, and I believe with all my heart that they are some of the hardest working members of my committee,” Cummings said Friday on Capitol Hill. “They are members who are brilliant and when I say that I don’t say that lightly. They’re brilliant. They’re hardworking and they do the work and they care.”

He continued, “I’m proud of them. I’m proud of our members on my committee and I’m very proud of Ms. Omar.”

Cummings said he spoke with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) about her one-on-one meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday.

“She said it was a great meeting. She had a good feeling about it and she’s moving forward and I know the speaker is too,” he said.

Cummings addressed the past tension between lawmakers in “the Squad” and House Democratic leadership.

“Whenever you have a big tent you’re going to have disagreement,” he said. “We are a group of people, the Democrats, who will keep our eye on the prize and that prize is to make sure we save our democracy. We are all determined to do that.”

Cummings said the Democratic Party is growing together and would ultimately be fine.

“I know the president would like to see us battling it out or whatever but, you know, we’re not going to give him that luxury because there’s too much at stake,” he said. “I will go to my death fighting for this democracy and fighting for the American people and I believe that Ms. Omar, Ms. Cortez, Ms. Pressley and Ms. Tlaib, all of them, love this country and the president is absolutely unequivocally wrong when he says that they aren’t capable of loving this country. They love this country. They want this country to be the best that it can be for all of us, for everybody.”