Trump Says Flint Pastor Who Confronted Him Was ‘Nervous Mess’By
Says he wasn’t bothered because ‘everyone plays their games’
Visited black church on trip to learn about city’s water issue
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday criticized the pastor of a black church in Flint, Michigan, who had interrupted his remarks at the church the day before.
“Something was up because I noticed she was so nervous when she introduced me,” Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News, also describing her as a “nervous mess” and “shaking.” He wasn’t bothered by the confrontation, he said, because “everyone plays their games.”
It was a more critical reaction than Trump and his campaign expressed Wednesday during his tour of the city to highlight its poisoned-water crisis and to speak to black voters, among whom he has struggled to improve his standing against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump said he got “unbelievably good” treatment from people in Flint overall.
Reverend Faith Green Timmons, who interrupted Trump as he attacked Clinton on Wednesday to say he hadn’t been invited to give a political speech, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment before office hours Thursday.
When Timmons interrupted Trump at Bethel United Methodist Church on Wednesday, he responded, “Oh, oh, OK. OK. That’s good.”
In response to a shouted question from the audience, he disputed allegations that black tenants were discriminated against at his real-estate properties.
As more people yelled questions, the pastor asked the audience to stop and respect the guest, which drew some approving responses from attendees. Trump thanked the pastor and the congregation and left shortly afterward.
“Mr. Trump knew today would be hostile political territory, but he’s running to be president for all Americans, and that means being willing to visit with all communities,” spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement afterward.
On Thursday, Trump said blacks in Flint “want to see change” because of “the crime rate and all the other problems they have.”
“I’m going to fix it,” he said.
— With assistance by Sahil Kapur, and Jennifer Jacobs