Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took some shots at Rev. Faith Green Timmons of the Bethel United Methodist Church in Flint, Michigan, on Sept. 15 (video below).
Trump was speaking at the church on Sept. 14, and was supposed to be talking about the Flint water crisis, but went off topic and attacked Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, which caused Timmons to interrupt him and remind the billionaire not to give a political speech.
During a phone interview on "Fox & Friends" on Sept. 15, Trump told the hosts:
But something was up because I noticed she was so nervous when she introduced me, and she called NBC "ABC," ABC was the owner of an NBC Network and she said he owns ABC and we sort of smiled together backstage.
And when she got up to introduce me, she was so nervous. She was shaking. And I said, "Wow, this is sort of strange," and then she came up. So she had that in mind, there’s no question about it.
One of the co-hosts asked Trump if it bothered him, and he replied:
No, it doesn't bother me. Everyone plays their games, it doesn’t bother me. I’ll tell you what 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. I mean they're living in, you have to see, the crime rate over there is ridiculous.
The whole place is, not only the water ... what they did with the water is horrible, but the crime rate and all the other problems they have. ... I say "What do you have to lose, I'm going to fix it. I'm going to fix it. What do you have to lose?" And I'll tell you the audience was fantastic, but she was so nervous, she was like a nervous mess, so I figured something was up.
Scott Detrow, a reporter with NPR who was in the press pool at the church, recalled on Sept. 15 that Timmons was not nervous and added that the crowd didn't yell for Trump to speak (as Trump told Fox News):
In fact, several audience members began to heckle Trump, asking pointed questions about whether he racially discriminated against black tenants as a landlord. And that's when Timmons -- who Trump said Thursday had planned to ambush him -- stepped in to defend Trump, saying the Republican nominee was "a guest of my church, and you will respect him."
Timmons wrote on her Facebook page Sept. 14, after Trump's speech: "Had he stuck to what his camp claimed he came to do, we would not have had a problem! - Good night."