On Monday, Trump surrogate and spiritual adviser Mark Burns appeared on MSNBC to defend a now-deleted tweet that offended many people. The pastor had posted a cartoon image (which can be seen in this video) — of Hillary Clinton in blackface — which portrays the Democratic nominee with a bubble over her head that reads, “I ain’t no ways tired of pandering to Americans.” She’s wearing a t-shirt with “No hot sauce, no peace,” which is clearly geared towards a “pandering” claim even though Clinton’s love of hot sauce has been well documented for a long time. And the cartoonist drew a little “F*ck the police” sign for her likeness to brandish. All of this was accompanied by a caption that read, “Black Americans, thank you for your votes and letting me use you again. See you again in 4 years.”
Needless to say, all of this did not go over well. On MSNBC, Burns attempted to defend his actions to host Kristen Welker, who pointed out that Burns tweeted this image at a time when Donald Trump is openly wooing black voters by describing their communities as urban hellscapes, but not elaborating on issues of jobs and crime. Burns didn’t take kindly to Welker’s point, which was that Trump isn’t really talking to black voters, he’s just promising to “fix” things without addressing policy. And Burns shouted that this wasn’t true: “He’s talking to Americans! And we as African-Americans are Americans. We are American.” Burns then claimed Trump has been talking to black voters all along — because “he talked to America” — and people just didn’t know he was doing so. Throughout, Burns maintained his opinion that Clinton does pander to black voters.
This heated conversation didn’t quell the controversy of Burns’ tweet, so he decided to issue a late-night apology on Periscope. Burns stated that he never intended to anger anyone and does “regret the offensiveness of the black face.” He said the tweet was simply geared towards his view that the Democratic party has been “pandering and using black people just for their votes.” He stands by the tweet’s message and “what the image represents.”
You can see a video preservation of his apology in this CNN broadcast, in which Burns claims he never wanted to upset anyone. He then made the same points that Trump has been making about urban centers, but he admitted not talking to Trump about the tweet. Burns also emphasized, “The last thing I want to do is draw attention away from Mr. Trump’s policies.” And he alluded to a big Donald Trump policy reveal on the horizon.