Republican presidential candidate addresses the predominately black congregation
Donald Trump struck to a prepared script during a service held at Great Faith Ministries Church in Detroit before a predominately African American congregation.
As the service began, Trump could be seen near the front of the church swaying to “What a Mighty God We Serve.”
“This has been an amazing day for me,” Trump said after taking the stage. He called the African American Christian community “one of God’s greatest gifts to America” and said he was attending the religious service in Detroit on Saturday “to listen to your message — and I hope my presence here today will help your message reach new voices.”
Donald Trump speaks to black voters at Detroit church, Saturday, September 3, 2016
The GOP presidential candidate appeared at Great Faith Ministries with former “Apprentice” contestant Omarosa Manigualt and former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, a Detroit native.
Trump didn’t sidestep the question of race in his remarks. He said presently America sidelines “young black men with tremendous potential” and said “our entire country misses out when we are unable to harness the potential and energy of these folks.”
Trump confirmed that he taped a one-on-one interview Saturday morning with Bishop Wayne T. Jackson on the pastor’s Impact Network, the television network Jackson founded in 2010. Trump called it an “amazing interview” and, to wild cheers from the congregation, said Jackson’s interviewing skills were “better than the people who are doing that professionally, I can tell you.”
As his remarks ended, church leaders then placed a Jewish prayer shawl upon Trump’s shoulders.
Outside, protesters chanted: “What do you have to lose?” … “Everything.”
DONALD TRUMP ATTENDS SERVICES AT BLACK CHURCH IN DETROITMove the Horses! Outside Trump’s Detroit visit | 2:29
A crowd protests against Donald Trump’s visit to Great Faith Ministries in Detroit on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016. Detroit Mounted Police arrive to corral them, protests demand: “Giddy-up!” Mandi Wright/DFP
The chant is a play on an appeal a couple of weeks ago by Trump to black voters when he asked, “What do you have to lose?”
One of the protesters, Rosendo Delgado, 62, of Detroit, who said she is Latino, said Trump “shoots from the hip without analyzing what he is saying.”
Les Chambers, 59, of Bloomfield Township, was disappointed that he didn’t get to see Trump. Security kept him and other members of the public about 100 yards away from the front door of the church that Trump entered.
“I wanted to see Trump,” Chambers said, holding a small camera. “They said this was a free event but then they wouldn’t let me in without a ticket.”
Chambers said he supports Trump because he believes Hillary Clinton is corrupt.
“I have to support Trump because I don’t want to see the Clintons back in the White House,” Chambers said.
All around the area, there was a heavy police presence. Detroit police have Grand River Avenue blocked from Cloverlawn on the west to I-96 on the east.
The SUVs that Trump’s group arrived in parked out front.
Police and Secret Service agents ordered people off the sidewalk when they attempt to walk near the front of the church.
Across the street, police officers with binoculars are positioned on a rooftop eyeing protesters and other movements.
Protesters are are being corralled near an entrance off Oakman.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters the protesters have been peaceful and there have been no arrests.
Here is Facebook Live video showing protests outside the church as Trump arrived.
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US Election: Trump visits black church in Detroit
Polls suggest Donald Trump has low support among black and Hispanic voters. GETTY IMAGES
Donald Trump is visiting a black church in Detroit in an attempt to claw some of the minority vote away from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
The Republican candidate will also tour a neighbourhood in the predominantly black city, his staff said.
He is being accompanied by Ben Carson, the former Republican presidential hopeful, who grew up in the city.
Polls say Mr Trump, who is lagging behind Mrs Clinton, has low support among black and Hispanic voters.
The controversial businessman-turned Republican nominee is expected to address the congregation for a few minutes before recording a one-on-one interview with the church’s pastor, Bishop Wayne T Jackson.
The pre-scripted interview will be broadcast by Bishop Jackson’s own Impact TV network next week.
Mr Trump will answer a set of pre-approved questions with answers prepared by his campaign staff and the Republican National Committee, the New York Times reported.
The newspaper published a leaked copy of the 12 questions and answers, which cover police killings, racial tension, and accusations that Mr Trump is racist.
Mr Trump did not initially intend to address the congregation, the Times said, but a spokesman for his campaign later said plans had changed to incorporate a five to 10 minute scripted address.
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The controversial Republican candidate has attempted in recent weeks to appeal to both black and Hispanic voters, claiming he would create jobs in poor cities.
On Friday he met black religious and community leaders in Philadelphia and days earlier saw black and Latino Republicans in New York.
But months of hardline rhetoric on immigration and social issues have done little to endear Mr Trump to minority groups.
And he has been criticised by some for addressing black issues in front of largely white audiences, and for making critical statements about black communities.
There were protests against Mr Trump when he visited Detroit last month. AP photo
Mr Carson, who has been advising Trump’s campaign, said the trip would serve as an opportunity for the Republican nominee to see the challenges residents face.
“It always makes much more of an impression, I think, when you see things first-hand,” Mr Carson said.
Mike Duggan, the mayor of Detroit, and Brenda Lawrence, Democratic Representative, are expected to speak against Mr Trump in the city on Saturday morning.
Other protests are planned outside the church where the candidate will speak, AP said.
Earlier in the week, Mr Trump met Enrique Pena Nieto, the president of Mexico. Speaking in Mexico, he praised Mexican immigrants to the US, some of whom he had earlier in the campaign accused of being criminals and rapists.
But later the same day, in a fiery speech in Arizona, Mr Trump struck a hardline stance on immigration and insisted again he would force Mexico to pay for a wall between the two countries.