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Flint, Mich., pastor stops Donald Trump from criticizing Hillary Clinton at church

By Shawn Price
Flint, Mich., pastor stops Donald Trump from criticizing Hillary Clinton at church
Republican candidate for President Donald Trump had a rough outing while visiting Flint, Mich., on Wednesday. The reverend of the church he was speaking at interrupted him and told him to stop making a political speech. Trump also had to deal with hecklers inside the church and protesters outside. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

FLINT, Mich., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A pastor at a predominantly African-American church in Flint, Mich., interrupted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday for becoming too political in his address before the congregation.

Trump made two stops in the city -- including a quick trip to a water plant -- in an attempt to court black voters who almost entirely support his rival, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

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Trump was speaking at the Bethel United Methodist Church and began to attack Clinton when the Rev. Faith Green Timmons walked over to the podium and stopped him.

"Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we've done in Flint, not give a political speech," Timmons said.

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Trump tried to re-calibrate.

"OK. That's good. Then I'm going back onto Flint, OK? Flint's pain is a result of so many different failures," Trump said.

Residents of Flint have been using bottled water for the past year after it was discovered there were unsafe levels of lead in the city's tap water.

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Trump was also heckled by a few of the congregation, one of whom said he "discriminated against black tenants," referring to the 1973 Justice Department civil rights lawsuit against Trump and his father for trying to keep African-American tenants from renting or leasing in their New York properties.

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Another person said Trump had called African Americans "lazy."

Clinton supporters stood outside the church and others along the street as Trump's car went by.

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Timmons later made a statement that she allowed Trump to visit her church because it welcomes all people, but "Trump's presence at Bethel Methodist in no way represents an endorsement of his candidacy," she said.

The GOP nominee later tried to play off the visit to Flint at a mostly white rally in Canton, Ohio Wednesday evening.

"Now I understand there are going to be some people in these communities who aren't planning on voting for me, and that's OK," he said. "I will campaign hard for their votes anyway."

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