Donald Trump made the curious decision yesterday to visit Flint, Michigan, despite the wishes of the local mayor. As Rachel explained on last night’s show, the Republican presidential candidate showed up anyway, toured a water facility, and delivered remarks at the Bethel United Methodist Church, where he’d been invited to make an appearance.
It didn’t go well. Trump, predictably, went after Hillary Clinton in his brief speech, right up until the Rev. Faith Green Timmons, the church’s pastor interrupted him. “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not give a political speech,” she said.
Trump, clearly surprised, quickly responded, “Okay, that’s good. Then I’m going to go back to Flint.”
Of course, Trump has a long track record of not responding well to public rebukes, so no one should have been surprised this morning when the Republican candidate turned his attention to the pastor. The Wall Street Journal reported:
Donald Trump on Thursday said the pastor who interrupted him as he launched into an anti-Clinton speech at an African-American church the day before was “so nervous she was shaking” when she introduced him to her congregation.In an interview on Fox News, the Republican presidential nominee suggested Faith Green Timmons, pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church in Flint, Mich., had planned to disrupt his remarks ahead of time.
“When she got up to introduce me, she was so nervous she was shaking and I said, ‘Wow this is sort of strange,’” he said. “And then she came up. So she had that in mind, there’s no question about it…. Everyone plays their games.”
Yes, Donald Trump believes the smart move this morning is to target the African-American woman who invited him to address her congregation.
NPR’s report added that Trump also misstated this morning the details of what transpired.
“The audience was saying, ‘Let him speak, let him speak,’” Trump told Fox and Friends.That isn’t true – in fact, several audience members began to heckle Trump, asking pointed questions about whether he racially discriminated against black tenants as a landlord.And that’s when Timmons – who Trump said Thursday had planned to ambush him – stepped in to defend Trump, saying the Republican nominee was “a guest of my church, and you will respect him.”“Thank you. Thank you, pastor,” Trump responded.
Under the circumstances, the GOP nominee would have been better off simply turning his attention to something else, rather than re-litigating an incident that made him look bad. But Trump just can’t help himself – he felt scolded by the pastor, so he ran to Fox to scold her right back, saying on television what he was afraid to say directly to Timmons’ face.