It’s really not that hard to understand.

But in swamp circles in Washington, D.C., forceful pushback by a president against lies and innuendo about him or his policies is not all that common, after all.

It’s why entrenched bureaucrats, fervent anti-Trumpers and others are still trying to adjust to the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

Speaking on Sunday morning to anchor Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday,” Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, explained Trump’s recent attacks on longtime Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) — attacks that Democrats clearly do not like.

Wallace first said to him, “President Trump attacked Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings on Saturday, saying that his district in the Baltimore area of Maryland is worse, [has] worse conditions [and is] more dangerous than [conditions] along the southern border … In fact,” added Wallace after showing Trump’s tweets about it, “median household income in the district is in the upper half nationally, and Columbia, Maryland, which is part of the Cummings district, has been called the safest city in America. So what is the president talking about?”

Mulvaney then set him straight.  

I think Maryland is — I think on a per capita basis, or [a] per household basis, the richest state in America,” said Mulvaney. “[Yet] you still see pictures on the internet of complete poverty in Baltimore, Maryland.”

What this is about, though, is the president fighting back against what he saw as … illegitimate attacks about the [southern] border in [congressional] hearing[s] this week.  If you go online, you can see the questioning that Elijah Cummings did of Kevin McAleenan [the acting secretary of Homeland Security] regarding the conditions at the border.”

Related: Trump Takes Fresh Aim at Nancy Pelosi for Her ‘Failing’ California District

“Mr. Cummings [was] saying that children were sleeping or sitting in their own feces. That’s just not — that’s not right.”

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“It’s not accurate,” added Mulvaney, “born [out] by the fact, by the way, that Mr. Cummings has not been to the border in recent memory, certainly not during this administration.”

“And when the president hears lies like that, he is going to fight back — and that’s what you saw in those tweets.”

Here’s what the president shared, in part, about Cummings’ troubled congressional district:

There was also this:

Immediately there were calls by some Democrats that Trump’s comments were racist.

And now many others are chiming in — see this reaction, for example:

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