(Reuters) — The pastor of a black church in Flint, Michigan, stopped Donald Trump on Wednesday in the midst of his remarks criticizing Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, and said the Republican presidential nominee was not invited to talk about politics.
As Trump went after Clinton for her support of global trade deals, pastor Faith Green Timmons interrupted to tell Trump her church had not invited him to “give a political speech.”
“Oh, oh, OK, that’s good,” Trump responded, shuffling papers on his podium at Bethel United Methodist Church.
He then made a few remarks about fixing Flint’s drinking-water issues before departing.
Prior to Trump’s arrival, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver made a statement regarding his visit, which the mayor said he never contacted her about.
“Flint is focused on fixing the problems caused by lead contamination of our drinking water, not photo ops,” Weaver said on Tuesday.
“The mayor also notes that city of Flint employees and the staff at the Flint Water Plant are focused on dealing with the continued contamination in the drinking water and cannot afford the disruption of a last-minute visit,” the statement adds.
Trump was visiting the city to view its water crisis first-hand and extend his recent outreach to African-American voters ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Polls show black voters largely favor Clinton.
He held an event at a black church in nearby Detroit earlier this month and has pledged in recent speeches to help the black community, which he has described as being besieged by poverty and crime.
During his remarks on Wednesday, the New York real estate developer was also challenged by some members of the crowd of about 50 people, including a woman who accused him of discriminating against black renters as a landlord in the 1970s.
“No, I never would, never would,” Trump replied.
Earlier in the day, he toured Flint’s water-treatment plant, which has been shut down since lead was found in the water supply.
Residents of Flint asked a federal judge on Wednesday to order bottled water or filters be provided to them to prevent further lead exposure, 2-1/2 years after the city’s water supply was found to be contaminated.