WATCH: Inner City Pastor Stops Trump from Making Political Speech in Church; Trump Backs Up and Proceeds Differently


Donald Trump’s last minute attempt to win over African-American voters veered off course Wednesday afternoon when the pastor of a historically black church cut him off mid-stump speech, reminding him that he had not been invited there to deliver a political speech.

“Hillary Clinton failed on the economy, just like she has failed on foreign policy. Everything she touched didn’t work out, nothing,” Trump told 50 or so people inside Bethel United Methodist Church.

Rev. Faith Green-Timmons, an African-American pastor in this predominantly Democratic city, didn’t want to hear it and stepped in to stop him.

“Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint,” Rev. Faith Green Timmons said as she approached Trump. “Not to give a political speech.”

A chastened Trump quickly looked to smooth things over.

“OK, that’s good. I’m going to go back onto Flint,” he said, pivoting back to a discussion of the city’s troubles with a lead-contaminated infrastructure that has left its water supply undrinkable. “Flint’s pain is a result of so many different failures.”

Trump is attempting to fit Flint’s water problem into his broader argument that government incompetency is to blame for most problems and that he will be able to fix things. But as he was wrapping up, a few people seated in the pews had questions.

“You’ve discriminated against black tenants,” one said, seeming to reference a New York Times report detailing how Trump and his father frequently denied African-Americans applying to buy or rent in their buildings.

“No, I never,” Trump said, as he was leaving.

Flint’s water crisis drew attention and visits from Clinton and Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary but not from Republicans until Wednesday. But Trump’s short-but-messy visit is the latest evidence of the difficulties he faces in making headway with African-American voters, a bloc that has almost completely written him off according to polls showing him winning under 5 percent of the black vote.

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