Trump Says Rep. Elijah Cummings’s Work Will be ‘Very Hard, If Not Impossible, to Replace’

October 17, 2019 Updated: October 17, 2019

President Donald Trump reacted to the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Oct. 17, saying the Congressman would be difficult to replace.

“My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings,” Trump said in a statement.

“I got to see first hand the strength, passion, and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!”

Trump, a Republican, and Cummings were political foes. Cummings was the chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, one of a number of House committees committed to trying to uncover wrongdoing on the part of Trump, while the president zeroed in on Cummings this past summer for his alleged neglect of the Baltimore portion of his congressional district.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham shared Trump’s statement, adding, “May God bless the friends and family of Congressman Elijah Cummings during this tough time.”

Trump later issued a presidential proclamation ordering the U.S. flags at the White House, all public buildings, all military posts and naval stations, and all naval vessels to be flown at half-staff in memory of Cummings “longstanding public service.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) was among the others expressing his condolences to Cummings family.

“There was no stronger advocate and no better friend than Elijah Cummings. I am heartbroken for his wonderful family and staff—please pray for them. I will miss him dearly,” Meadows said in a statement.

Meadows and Cummings were known to be close friends despite their political differences.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said: “Elijah Cummings was the heart and soul of our caucus, a dignified leader with a voice that could move mountains. He was our moral and ethical North Star. Now we will be guided by his powerful memory and incomparable legacy. Rest in peace my friend.”

“Today our country lost a true leader. Congressman Elijah Cummings was a friend, a passionate fighter for justice, and a powerful voice of moral conscience in our government who served his country for decades with dignity and integrity. I’m blessed to have known him,” added Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in a statement.

“In Congress and his community, Elijah Cummings was a thunderous force for equality, accountability, and moral clarity. And because he knew the importance of working with people from all backgrounds and parties, he got things done. America has lost a leader. RIP, Chairman,” wrote Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) in a statement.

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