Donald Trump interrupted by Flint pastor during speech during Hillary Clinton attack

Democratic mayor Karen Weaver said Mr Trump had not contacted her about visiting the city amid his continued outreach to black voters

Flint pastor interrupts Donald Trump

Donald Trump's address to a black church in Flint, Michigan, was cut short by the church's pastor when he launched into a tirade about Hillary Clinton. The incident came amid criticism from Mayor Karen Weaver that the visit is more than a "photo op" as the city continues to deal with its water contamination crisis.

During a speech at the historically-black Bethel United Methodist Church, Mr Trump began to tear into Hillary Clinton in his usual stump speech after a brief tour of the Flint water plant at the centre of the lead contamination controversy.

"Hillary failed on the economy. Just like she's failed on foreign police," he said. "Everything she touched didn't work out. Nothing. Now Hillary Clinton—"

"Mr Trump I invited you here to thank us for what we've done in Flint, not give a political speech," Rev Faith Green-Timmons interjected.Mayor Weaver rebuked the visit earlier in the day, suggesting it was nothing more than a stunt. She said he never contacted her about the visit and the campaign never offered any help.

The trip comes amid Mr Trump’s ongoing effort to court the black vote — often criticised as a bid to appeal to moderate white conservatives — but Ms Weaver sounded a sceptical about the candidate’s intentions of visiting Flint, a predominantly low-income, black community.

“Flint is focused on fixing the problems caused by lead contamination of our drinking water, not photo ops,” she said, adding that water plant employees “cannot afford the disruption of a last-minute visit.”

Ms Weaver said she would not be in Flint during Mr Trump’s visit as she was in currently in Washington, DC, urging Congress to allocate funding to help fix the water crisis, the Detroit Free Press reported.

State Representative Sheldon Neeley criticised the visit, calling it “an opportunity to exploit the Flint community at-large”.

USA 'Has Your Back' - Obama to People of Flint

“I’ll be very interested to see if indeed he’s going to say anything about the Republican mess that caused the human health crisis in Flint,” he added. “If not, he’s being disingenuous by even visiting my town.”

Several dozens of protesters assembled outside of the plant to rebuke the campaign, echoing Ms Weaver's accusations that Mr Trump was only on a public relations trip.

“I'm here to call on Donald Trump to stop using the Flint water crisis as a prop for his campaign. Not once since the beginning of his campaign has Trump addressed the crisis, despite ample opportunity,” Desiree Duell, a Flint mother and activist with the group Flint Rising, told the Free Press.

She continued: “We have been denied clean, safe water for more than two years and we want Donald Trump to know that we need a real solution to this crisis, not empty rhetoric or more of the same 'run government like a business' mentality that led to this crisis in the first place.”

The Flint water crisis began in April 2014 after a state-appointed emergency manager diverted the city’s water supply to draw from the Detroit Water and Sewerage System to the Flint River. The new water supplier did not properly treat the water from the new source, which was much more corrosive than the previous supply. This led to the deterioration of the pipes which contaminated the water supply with lead.

Some 8,000 children were among the many Flint residents who suffered from lead poisoning.

Nine people have been charged since the January 2015 admission that the water had been contaminated. Gov Rick Snyder is named in a lawsuit against the businesses involved in the water supply switch.

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