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Pastor who admonished Trump says agreement was no 'political speech'

By
Eric DuVall
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to the Economic Club of New York on Thursday. Trump told Fox News he thought a pastor who admonished him during a speech the day before had pre-planned the interruption. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to the Economic Club of New York on Thursday. Trump told Fox News he thought a pastor who admonished him during a speech the day before had pre-planned the interruption. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

FLINT, Mich., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The pastor who admonished Donald Trump for making a "political speech" in her church said Trump's campaign promised beforehand he would only show up to thank her congregation for the work they did assisting residents of Flint, Mich., during the water crisis there.

Trump responded, suggesting to Fox News on Thursday that the Rev. Faith Green Timmons looked like a "nervous mess" and had planned to embarrass him after he began speaking.

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"Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we've done in Flint, not give a political speech," the pastor said after Trump began to criticize Clinton on Wednesday before the congregation of about 70 people.

Trump agreed and promised he would stick to discussing the water crisis, not politics.

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Asked the following morning about the exchange, Trump said it was clear when he arrived Timmons had planned to do something.

"She was a nervous mess," Trump said.

After Trump left the church, Timmons spoke to local media, saying she agreed to allow Trump to visit, but only under the condition he speak about the water crisis and praise congregants for their volunteer work to help the community deal with it.

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Timmons said Trump's campaign "claimed he was swinging by and stepping through only to greet the volunteers and thank them with no political rhetoric of any kind."

"That was stated," she told MLive.com. "When it went further than that, I did exactly what we agreed I would do."

Prior to the interview, Timmons distributed a flyer to those in attendance, stating that Trump's appearance at Bethel United Methodist Church did not constitute an endorsement, but was intended to foster an "open communication table."

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