A black pastor and Donald Trump supporter who stormed out of a CNN interview over questions about his past reveals why he thinks he’s being attacked.
Pastor Mark Burns has emerged as an outspoken surrogate for the GOP nominee, but was not too pleased to answer questions about discrepancies in his own biography. Burns stormed off after CNN’s Victor Blackwell accused him of exaggerating parts of his professional background.
The South Carolina preacher’s church website lists that he has a Bachelor of Science degree and served six years in the Army Reserve. But Burns had only been part of the South Carolina National Guard until he was discharged in 2008. He also acknowledged that he attended North Greenville University for only one semester, never attaining a degree.
“I asked you just a moment ago as we were opening up. First of all, I said that we were off the record,” Burns told Blackwell, who responded “I didn’t agree to that.”
“Yeah, but I did,” Burns said.
“We’re still rolling. I’m still asking you questions on the record,” Blackwell pressed, to which Burns pushed back, “I’m off the record. I’m off the record.”
Blackwell again asked Burns if he had made “that claim that you graduated from North Greenville University?”
“Because I think this is not fair that you, this is not fair,” Burns responded. “This is not fair, at all. I thought we were doing a profile and all of a sudden you’re here to try to destroy my character.”
Burns attributed the incorrect information as something that had “obviously” been either “manipulated or either hacked or added.” Blackwell, who claimed he was not looking to destroy Burns’ character, pressed for an answer but the pastor stormed off, abruptly ending the interview.
Later, Burns posted a statement on his Facebook page.
Though he admitted that he wasn’t truthful about some facts regarding his past, Burns minced no words pointing out the reason for the attacks on his character.
“I do also want to set the record straight about why this attack is happening – because I am a black man supporting Donald Trump for President,” he wrote. “It’s a shame that the political insiders and the media choose to attack me because I’m not going to stay silent about Hillary Clinton’s pandering to our community.”
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