Donald Trump said he wasn't bothered by the pastor
Trump said the pastor was nervous before introducing him
Donald Trump said “something was up” with Rev. Faith Green Timmons, the pastor who interrupted him to ask him not to attack Hillary Clinton in her church in Flint, Michigan on Wednesday. But Trump said he wasn’t bothered by the interruption because “everyone plays their games.”
Trump, speaking Thursday on Fox and Friends, was responding to the host’s question about a post on Facebook (according to the Fox hosts, who noted it was later erased) that she hoped to “educate” Trump on what had been going on in Flint. CNN has not been able to review the Facebook post in question.
“She was so nervous, she was shaking. And I said, ‘wow, this was kind of strange.’ And then she came up. So she had that in mind, no question about it,” Trump said, adding that he suspected that he might face an unfriendly reception at the church.
Clinton responded to Trump’s characterization during a news conference Thursday afternoon, taking issue with Trump calling her “nervous.”
“That’s not only insulting, that’s dead wrong. … She’s a rock for her community in trying times, she deserves better than that. And Flint deserves better,” Clinton said in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In a statement distributed before Trump’s appearance, Timmons said: “This public event is open to all and today Donald Trump came to observe. Trump’s presence at Bethel United Methodist in no way represents an endorsement of his candidacy.”
“Does it bother you?” co-host Steve Doocy asked of the pastor’s interruption.
“No, it doesn’t bother me. Everyone plays their games. It doesn’t bother me. I’ll tell you what really made me feel good, the audience was saying let him speak, let him speak, and the audience was so great and these are mostly African-American people, phenomenal people and they want to see change,” Trump said.
Trump had begun criticizing Clinton’s record as secretary of state during his remarks to the congregation when Timmons interjected. “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not give a political speech.” Trump replied, “Ok, that’s good. Then I’m going back onto Flint, OK? Flint’s pain is a result of so many different failures.”
According to Pastor Chris Martin, of Cathedral of Faith Ministries, Timmons is relatively new to the city and other pastors had rejected the idea of a Trump visit to their churches and weren’t pleased with her decision to welcome him.
CNN’s Phil Mattingly contributed to this report.