Donald Trump suggested that the pastor who interrupted his Wednesday speech at a Flint, Michigan church did so intentionally to cast him in a poor light, saying “something was up.”
“When she got up to introduce me, she was so nervous, she was shaking,” Trump said of Rev. Faith Green Timmons during a Thursday morning phone interview on “Fox and Friends.” “And I said, ‘Wow, this is sort of strange.’ And then she came up. So she had that in mind. No question about it.”
Timmons cut in during Trump’s address, which mostly focused on the economy and the Flint water crisis, once he started speaking dismissively about Hillary Clinton.
“Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done for Flint, not give a political speech,” she said.
“Okay. That’s good. And I’m going to go back onto Flint,” Trump answered.
The Fox hosts asked if Trump thought Timmons was trying to “sabotage” him, given that she wrote a now-deleted Facebook post saying the GOP nominee’s visit provided an opportunity to “show Donald Trump that this nation is filled with intelligent, wise, black citizens of integrity” who are “braving a manmade catastrophe.”
“Everyone plays their games,” Trump replied, calling Timmons “a nervous mess.” “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.’ The audience was so great and these are mostly African-American people, phenomenal people and they want to see change.”
Scattered applause can be heard in video of the on-stage interruption, but no voices can be heard calling for Trump to continue.
Timmons’ Facebook comments seem to refer to Trump’s recent appeals to black voters, who he said have been led astray by Democratic politicians.
“You’re living in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?” Trump asked in one such speech.
Timmons’ Facebook profile indicates that she studied at Harvard University and Yale Divinity School and speaks advanced Hebrew. While her original comment has since been taken down, she wrote another post saying she wouldn’t have interrupted if Trump had stuck to the plan worked out with church leaders before his appearance.
“Had he stuck to what his camp claimed he came to do, we would not have had a problem!” she wrote.
Timmons did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.