Ed. Note: Donald Trump's Sept. 14 visit to Flint came as a bit of a surprise; the campaign did not put out any press releases on it and Trump himself issued no Tweets.  The trip did not appear to be much of a success.  Critics denounced it as a photo op, and at a subsequent visit to a local church he was reportedly heckled and the pastor admonished him after he launched into an attack on Clinton.

Nothing received from the Trump campaign...critics weigh in:

Flint Rising
News from Flint Rising
September 14, 2016
Contact: Marissa Luna

Water Not Walls: Flint Residents Call Out Trump for Using Water Crisis as a Prop

Demand real solutions to the Flint water crisis

FLINT – Today, Flint residents, allies, and Flint Rising activists held a press conference ahead of Donald Trump’s campaign visit. Participants called Trump out for using the Flint water crisis as a campaign prop and for his failure to address the crisis since his campaign began.

“Donald Trump doesn’t care about Flint. We’re less than 60 days away from the presidential election and he just now decided to roll into town for a photo-op. That says a lot about his character,” said Ron Bieber, Michigan AFL-CIO president. “The damaged pipelines haven’t been replaced, the water still isn’t safe without filters, and families are still relying on bottled water but all Trump cares about is himself.”

Trump visited Detroit in March but made no mention of the Flint water crisis at that time.
“Not once since the beginning of his campaign has Donald Trump addressed this crisis, despite have ample opportunity. Now he is coming to our city to attempt to pivot his message and we won’t stand for it,” said Desiree Duell, mother and Flint Rising activist. “We need a real solution to this crisis, not empty rhetoric or more of the same of his ‘run government like a business’ mentality that led to this crisis in the first place. We’ve seen what happens when profits are put over people and we will not let it happen again.”

Flint residents still don’t have access to clean, safe water and there is no clear timeline for when they’ll be able to safely use water from their taps. Environmental Protection Agency officials warned that residents should expect to use filters for drinking tap water through at least the rest of the year.

The Flint Rising Coalition, through resident-to- resident contact and extensive community conversations, has identified residents’ demands, which include replacement of all damaged pipes using Flint workers, 100% bill reimbursement for toxic water since 2014, and the resources needed for children and families to deal with the impacts of lead and heavy metal toxins now and in the future.

“We demand solutions and concrete ideas to fix this crisis. We will not be fooled by empty rhetoric. Even after Donald Trump is gone, we will remain and work together for justice and a solution,” said Minister Rigel Dawson of North Central Church of Christ. “A true leader will join with us to find a solution instead of tokenizing us and will continue to keep elevating this issue until it is fixed instead of trying to co-opt this crisis for their own gain. That’s the kind of leadership that we will continue to fight for.”

Many residents agree that a profit over people mentality is what led to the Flint water crisis and are concerned that Trump’s campaign is a continuation of that model.

“Donald Trump has shown no respect for working people throughout his career and advocates for failed economic policies that benefit the wealthiest at the expense of working families, that’s not what the people of Flint need and that’s not what will solve this crisis,” said Gerald Kariem, director of UAW Region 1D.  “We need a leader who will work together with the community to both fix the Flint water crisis and rebuild the city of Flint as whole so that we all benefit.”     


Hillary for America

BRUTAL: Flint Residents to Donald Trump: You Are Not Welcome Here

Donald Trump flew into Flint, Michigan, today and was promptly rejected by city residents, who denounced Trump’s latest campaign photo-op that did nothing to help Flint families recover from the ongoing water crisis. While in Flint, protesters followed Trump and he was even cut off by a Flint pastor for his extreme and negative remarks.

The headlines speak for themselves about Trump’s reception in Flint:

Flint Residents Tell Donald Trump: You’re Not Welcome Here
Huffington Post // Kim Bellware

Residents of Flint, Michigan, have a message for Donald Trump ahead of his scheduled visit to the city Wednesday afternoon: He’s not welcome there. Community members and representatives of the water crisis activist group Flint Rising slammed the Republican presidential nominee’s visit as nothing more than a photo opportunity.

Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO labor federation, had a blunt question for the brash businessman on this point. “Donald Trump, I have one question for you and it’s a simple one: Where the hell have you been?” he said. “Here we stand, less than 60 days out from a presidential election and now Donald Trump wants to roll in town for a photo op? Give me a break.”

Trump gets into tiff with Flint church’s pastor
Detroit News // Chad Livengood

The Rev. Faith Green Timmons, pastor of the Bethel United Methodist Church, interrupted Trump while he was standing on a stage in the church’s fellowship hall. “Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not to give a political speech,” Timmons said.

Trump's remarks in Flint cut short by pastor, protesters
Detroit Free Press // Kathleen Gray

Clyde Edwards, 85, of Flint, said he has no intention of voting for Trump, adding that Hillary Clinton is his only choice for President. "What is there to like about him? He's been bankrupted so many times," he said. "Why would I vote for someone like that?"

Flint Church Pastor Scolds Donald Trump for Attack on Hillary Clinton
Patch // Beth Dalbey

Desiree Duell, a Flint mother and activist with the group Flint Rising, called on Trump to "stop using the Flint water crisis as a prop" for his campaign, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. "Not once since the beginning of his campaign has Trump addressed the crisis, despite ample opportunity," said Duell. "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."

Donald Trump's Flint visit doesn't sit well with the beleaguered city's mayor
Detroit Metro Times // Jennifer McDonnell

Mayor Karen Weaver stated in an interview with the Detroit Free Press that she was never been contacted by Trump or anyone in his administration regarding the tour, let alone after the water crisis became national news. She made the following statement regarding his visit: “Flint is focused on fixing the problems caused by lead contamination of our drinking water, not photo ops.”

Trump, interrupted, heckled in visit to Flint church
Associated Press

Donald Trump was cut off, chastised and then heckled after he attacked rival Hillary Clinton during what was supposed to be a speech on helping where the government had failed the people of Flint, Michigan. "Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we've done in Flint, not give a political speech," said the Rev. Faith Green Timmons, the pastor of the Bethel United Methodist Church.

Not in my house, pastor tells Trump
POLITICO // Louis Nelson, Eli Stokes

Donald Trump's last minute attempt to win over African-American voters veered off course Wednesday afternoon when the pastor of a historically black church cut him off mid-stump speech, reminding him that he had not been invited there to deliver a political speech.

But as he was wrapping up, a few people seated in the pews had questions. “You’ve discriminated against black tenants,” one said, seeming to reference a New York Times report detailing how Trump and his father frequently denied African-Americans applying to buy or rent in their buildings.

On Trip to Flint, Donald Trump Gives Stump Speech, Gets Interrupted
ABC News // Veronica Stracqualursi, Adam Kelsey, John Santucci

Trump’s trip to Flint was announced today, with little advance planning. On Tuesday, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver pre-emptively decried Trump’s visit as a distraction, saying in a statement “that city of Flint employees and the staff at the Flint Water Plant are focused on dealing with the continued contamination in the drinking water and cannot afford the disruption of a last-minute visit.”

Trump Has Hostile Encounter at Black Church in Flint
Bloomberg // Jennifer Jacobs, Sahil Kapur

Reneta Richard, a Flint Democrat who works as a teacher, followed the Republican nominee as he walked out. "What do you mean African Americans have nothing to lose?" Richard said she asked him, a reference to a recent speech he gave in  Dimondale, Mich., when he asked blacks to vote for him by saying "What the hell do you have to lose?"

Trump didn’t answer until he paused to take a photo with someone, she said in an interview afterwards. "I said, ‘What did you mean when you said that African Americans have nothing to lose?’ He kind of looked over his shoulder and said, 'They have nothing to lose.' I said, 'I am the they,'" Richard told Bloomberg Politics.

Donald Trump started attacking Hillary Clinton at a Flint church. The pastor told him to stop.
The Week // Kimberly Alters
During his remarks, he began lobbing attacks at Democratic rival Hillary Clinton — until the Bethel pastor came on stage and asked him to stop, saying she had invited him to "thank us for the work we've done in Flint, not to give a political speech"...CNN's Phil Mattingly reports Trump cut his visit to the church short after the incident, forgoing a planned question-and-answer session.

Flint Pastor Stops Trump's Clinton-Bashing: This Isn't A 'Political Speech'
Talking Points Memo // Kristin Salaky

A pastor interrupted Donald Trump during a last-minute appearance in Flint, Michigan as he veered off in a speech to attack his opponent, Hillary Clinton, reminding him he was not invited to give a "political" speech.

Donald Trump interrupted by pastor in Flint, Mich., who tells him not to 'give a political speech'
Los Angeles Times // Kurtis Lee

Donald Trump was invited to talk Wednesday about the water crisis in Flint, Mich., but that was soon tossed aside. In remarks at an African American church in the predominantly black city, Trump, assailing Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on the economy and foreign policy, was interrupted.

"Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we've done in Flint, not give a political speech," said Pastor Faith Green Timmons as she approached the Republican presidential nominee at the podium.

Flint Pastor Shuts Down Donald Trump Mid-Speech
Daily Beast // Asawin Suebsaeng

“Everything she touched didn’t work out. Nothing. Now, Hillary Clinton…”

That’s as far as he got before she shut him down.

“Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not give a political speech,” Timmons told him.

Donald Trump gets shut down during appearance at black church in Flint, Michigan
Mic // Emily Cahn

A reverend at an African-American church in Flint, Michigan, shut Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump down during a visit to her church Wednesday afternoon after he began to attack Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, telling the Republican nominee he was not invited there to give a political speech.

Clinton, for her part, has made the lead water crisis in Flint a cornerstone of her campaign. She visited multiple times during the primary, earning the endorsement of the city's mayor.

Donald Trump cuts short Flint appearance after pastor tells him to stop political attacks
New York Daily News // Cameron Joseph

It wasn't the only stumble for Trump during his trip to Flint, a city that has been ravaged by lead poisoning in its water supply. Earlier on, after touring the water treatment site that was at the nexus of the crisis, thanked the "very, very good executives" running it.

Message from Flint to Trump: Where the hell have you been?
Detroit Free Press // Kathleen Gray

Bieber said Clinton's actions in Flint are different from Trump's visit because it happened early on in the crisis and included sending staff to work with Flint city officials and helping set up a program to find work for teenagers this past summer.

"She drew national attention to the issues. She put pressure on the governor to take action. Hillary Clinton has had Flint's back every step of the way," Bieber said, adding that if Trump really cared he should write a personal check for $10 million for the families of the city. "Donald Trump doesn't give a rip about Flint ... My message today is pretty clear, 'Donald Trump, go home. You aren't welcome in Flint.'”

Donald Trump visit to Flint riles protesters and union leaders
Flint Journal // Roberto Acosta

The father of two children under 10 years old, Dawson said the impact of the water crisis has been felt far and wide in the city, causing stress in his congregation over their voices not being heard and apathy for some the problem will never truly be corrected.

"People feel marginalized, people feel neglected, people feel injured and insulted, and the people of this community deserve more than to just be patronized," he said. "People of this community deserve more than to have our trauma politicized. We deserve more and demand more. We do not need rhetoric and empty promises."

'Donald Trump, go home' says Michigan AFL-CIO president
Flint Journal // Roberto Acosta

Roughly one year on from when Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha unveiled test results that showed elevated blood lead levels in Flint children, Bieber said there are families that continue to struggle with the issue.

He questioned Trump's visit less than 60 days before the Nov. 8 presidential election against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and told him to leave the city.

Democrats decry Trump visit to Flint as 'photo op'
Detroit Free Press // Todd Spangler

"If he wants to talk about Flint, pick up the phone and call (House Speaker) Paul Ryan and tell him to do something about Flint," said Kildee, who with help from others in the state's delegation to Congress has been agitating for funding to help Flint repair and replace old water pipes.

Stabenow, who in talking about the Senate plan praised the help offered by Republican leaders who helped secure the Flint package, called the visit from the Republican nominee "a photo op," noting how little conversation Flint's problems warranted among the GOP candidates — Trump included — throughout the long primary season. The people of Flint "don't need politics, they need solutions," said Stabenow.


For Immediate Release, September 14, 2016

League of Conservation Voters

LCV Statement on Trump's Visit to Flint

Contact: Seth Stein

September 14, 2016  

Washington, DC – In anticipation of Donald Trump’s surprise visit to Flint, MI, where the lead contamination crisis is still ongoing, LCV National Campaigns Director Clay Schroers issued the following statement:

“During the primaries, when the Flint water crisis was at its worst, Donald Trump dodged the issue saying ‘I shouldn’t be commenting on Flint’ and has stayed silent on the issue until suddenly deciding to visit now. Given Trump’s hostility toward environmental protections in general, at this point Trump was probably better off sticking to that position.  

“The difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on this issue could not be starker. Trump has no plan for helping communities like Flint - in fact, he has vowed to roll back clean water protections and his alleged 'plan' to pay for vital infrastructure upgrades is fictitious nonsense. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has been fighting for clean water and children’s health for years. Hillary has real solutions that begin immediately upon taking office to address lead in drinking water and to make sure families have access to the clean water they have a right to.”


Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters, www.lcv.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.