As Donald Trump prepares to visit the embattled city of Flint, Michigan, today, its mayor has already offered a swift rebuke to the Republican presidential nominee.
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“Flint is focused on fixing the problems caused by lead contamination of our drinking water, not photo ops,” Mayor Karen Weaver said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The mayor also notes 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,” the statement reads.
Trump and his campaign did not notify her office that he planned to arrive, Weaver said, and they haven’t reached out since the town’s water crisis was officially recognized as an emergency in December 2012.
The Democratic mayor praised Hillary Clinton’s visit, which Weaver said led directly to help for Flint.
While details of his trip have not been formally announced, Trump in an interview with a Flint TV station said that more needs to be done to restore safe drinking water and blamed elected officials.
"First of all, it would have never happened [under a Trump administration], because it was so ridiculous. In order to save a small amount of money, they redo the whole thing, and now it's a disaster,” he told NBC25-FOX66 news anchor Dave Bondy. “I will say this — my administration, we'll get very much involved, and we're going to get the problem solved. But it’s still not solved, and it’s hard to believe, but it’s really harder to believe that they did it in the first place. Should have never happened.”
In January of this year, Trump avoided commenting in detail on the subject, calling it a “shame.”
“It’s a shame what’s happening in Flint, Michigan. A thing like that shouldn’t happen,” he said. “But again, I don’t want to comment on that.”