Democrat Congressional candidate Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who is running for her late husband Elijah’s seat representing part of Baltimore, appeared on “The View” Monday and was not questioned about the scandal surrounding her nonprofit organization that has dogged her for the last 9 months.
It was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so the hosts understandably wanted to discuss her late husband’s civil rights accomplishments. Elijah Cummings died on October 17th.
But the restraint showed by failing to address a touchy political and ethical subject for Rockeymoore Cummings – who is the subject of an IRS complaint filed by National Legal and Policy Center over the handling of her nonprofit charity – did not prevent the discussion from drifting into criticisms and aspersions about President Donald Trump.
“When you look to the future, do you feel optimistic about the next generation of change-makers, and their ability to have that kind of impact of those two lions?” asked co-host Sunny Hostin, referring to Cummings and his fellow civil rights activist, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.
“We have to make sure we’re all on the battlefield, fighting for our future,” Rockeymoore Cummings replied. “While it does not look good in terms of President Trump and the Republicans and what they’re doing to try to take us back 100 years in this country, the fact of the matter is that people are rising up all across the country. They are saying that we will not be oppressed. You will not take our democracy away from us.”
Then Rockeymoore Cummings informed “The View” audience about her own run for Congress, which spurred applause.
When someone runs for public office, it can generally be expected from the news media – even from ideologically friendly ones – that the candidate will be questioned about any potential ethical concerns, even if they are largely softballs like “can you explain this?” But that was not the case on “The View.”
Instead viewers of the segment were repeatedly reminded of how awful President Trump is.
Co-host Joy Behar praised Cummings – who chaired the House Oversight Committee that led part of the impeachment investigation into President Trump – as “formidable” and “incredible,” then launched a broadside against Trump for being so “vicious” to Cummings about his depressed Baltimore district. Trump had tweeted criticisms of Cummings in July, after the Oversight chairman lambasted Border Patrol and Homeland Security officials over the care of migrant children in detention facilities.
In response Trump tweeted, “Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA.”
He added, “As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming(‘s) District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
Trump’s comments sparked an unprecedented massive volunteer clean-up effort in the city, but Rockeymoore Cummings said on “The View” that the president’s accurate-but-biting remarks upset her husband while he suffered from the health problems that ultimately took his life.
“It hurt him at his worst moment,” she explained. “Elijah was already battling health issues, and so to have the president come out and do this at that time, you know, it really depressed him, and it stressed him, and I think it undermined his health.”
She also claimed that Trump’s supporters harassed her and her family while her husband was sick: “All of his minions out there, you know, nasty tweets, death threats, you name it. We were going through it.”
That prompted co-host Meghan McCain (who is supposed to be the program’s token conservative, despite her history of Trump hatred due to his conflicts with her late Senator father, John) to call Trump’s tweets “horrific” and told Rockeymoore Cummings she was “deeply sorry for your family.”
McCain then brought up Rockeymoore Cummings’s congressional pursuit, but instead of asking her about the allegations about her nonprofit, McCain said “I think it’s amazing you’re doing that” and then asked, “What made you do that, and was Elijah supportive?”
It’s not like the ethical issues surrounding Rockeymoore Cummings and her charity, the Center for Global Policy Solutions, are the random rantings from some fringe group. She has refused requests from at least three groups, including NLPC, for the nonprofit’s 990 tax returns, as is required by law.
She also funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from her charity to her private for-profit organization, according to a previously undisclosed cost-sharing arrangement that multiple experts said raises red flags, which NLPC investigator Tom Anderson characterized as “self-dealing.” NLPC’s complaint also offers evidence that Rockeymoore Cummings paid herself twice for the same services, via both her for-profit company and her nonprofit organization.
Furthermore, Elijah Cummings himself may be implicated. As the Washington Examiner reported, Center for Global Policy Solutions “received millions from special interest groups and corporations that had business before her husband’s committee and could have been used illegally.” Another watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, has asked the Maryland attorney general to investigate whether the Cummingses used her charity for improper self-enrichment.
If “The View”’s hosts thought these were all just attacks from political opponents, then maybe they should consider the look taken by the Washington Post at Rockeymoore Cummings and her nonprofit. Among the newspaper’s findings were her failure to disclose the relationship with her for-profit business, incomplete reporting of revenue and expenses, “sloppy accounting” that caused a foundation to stop funding the organization, and unpaid debts.
“This is exactly the kind of situation that requires that kind of attention to detail and proper accounting and disclosure,” a nonprofit tax specialist told the Post.
Rockeymoore Cummings in November said as she announced her congressional campaign, “There’s no merit to the IRS complaint… I’ll be willing to stand before anyone and refute those claims.”
So why wouldn’t “The View” give her the opportunity to do so?
Obviously because it’s more important to bash Trump than it is to inform your viewers.