Pastor Mark Burns, an African American surrogate for the Donald Trump campaign, on Monday night apologized for tweeting a cartoon that depicted Hillary Clinton in blackface.
“I want to apologize because the last thing I want to do is to anger people. I really am a unifier,” Burns said Monday in a video on Periscope, according to The Hill. “It was not at all my intention to offer or to not offend anyone, the last thing I want to do is to offend people.”
“The tweet was not designed to anger or stir up the post like it did,” he added, according to The Hill. “It was designed to bring how I feel the very real reality as to why the Democratic Party and how I view it and have interpreted have been pandering and using black people just for their votes.”
Burns’ apology came after he initially defended the tweet in an interview on MSNBC.
“The tweet is a frustration that I have as a black man here in America, and how I see African Americans in many cases, not every case, but in many cases, are suffering throughout the country,” he said, lamenting that black Americans vote for Democrats “en masse.”
He said that the tweet was supposed to draw attention to Clinton’s attempt to “pander” to black voters.
In the tweet published Monday, Burns wrote, “Black Americans, THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTES and letting me use you again..See you again in 4 years.” The cartoon depicted Clinton in blackface and referenced accusations that she does not support the police. Burns has since deleted the tweet, but MSNBC captured a screenshot: