WASHINGTON (UPI) — A black pastor and prominent Donald Trump supporter apologized for tweeting a cartoon of Hillary Clinton in blackface but criticized the Democratic nominee, who he said continues to “pander to black people.”
The Rev. Mark Burns, who spoke at the Republican National Convention and has frequently introduced Trump on the campaign trail, said the tweet, which he has since deleted, was not meant to offend fellow black people.
“The tweet was not designed to anger or stir up the pot like it did,” Burns said in an Internet video Monday.
The cartoon depicted Clinton in blackface, saying “I ain’t no ways tired of pandering to African-Americans.” Clinton is also wearing a T-shirt that says “No hot sauce, no peace.”
Clinton has frequently mentioned her affinity for spicy food and is said to carry a small container of hot sauce with her on the road. She made mention of it during an interview with a predominantly black radio station during the New York primary, likening it to the Beyonce lyric “hot sauce in my bag, swag” — after which she was also criticized for pandering to black voters.
In an interview with MSNBC Tuesday morning, Burns renewed his criticism of Clinton.
“The picture is designed to draw attention to the very fact that Hillary Clinton does pander to black people,” Burns told MSNBC. “She does pander, and the policies are not good for African Americans.”
Burns’ tweet comes after the candidates traded accusations of bigotry last week. Trump accused Clinton of embracing black voters — who polls have shown favor Clinton overwhelmingly — without addressing any of the issues facing people of color in inner cities.
Clinton shot back at Trump in a speech, saying he has allowed his campaign to become a vehicle by which racists and white supremacists have “taken hate mainstream.”
Trump is scheduled to continue campaigning for black votes this weekend with a visit to a predominantly black church in Detroit. Trump will visit Great Faith Ministries Church in inner-city Detroit and will participate in a televised interview with the Bishop Wayne T. Jackson to air on his religious-themed Impact Television Network.
Last week, Trump also renounced support from the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and other white supremacists, saying he does not want their votes.
That did not stop Duke, who is running a minor party campaign for Senate in Louisiana, from issuing a robocall to voters there, urging them to “stand up and vote for Donald Trump for president and vote for me, David Duke, for the U.S. Senate.”
The Trump campaign issued a statement to Politico, disavowing Duke’s support.
“Mr. Trump has continued to denounce David Duke and any group or individual associated with a message of hate. There is no place for this in the Republican Party or our country. We have no knowledge of these calls or any related activities, but strongly condemn and disavow.”
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