Trump Tells Black Church Members in Detroit He Is There to 'Learn'

Donald Trump told black church members in Detroit the "nation is too divided."

ByABC News
September 3, 2016, 12:05 PM

— -- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told an African-American congregation in Detroit today that the "nation is too divided."

"I’m here today to learn," he said to the congregants at Great Faith International Ministries, where he was introduced by the church's leader Bishop Wayne Jackson.

"I fully understand that the African-American community has suffered from discrimination and there are many wrongs that should be made right," Trump told church members at the service.

Trump's visit to the church marks a continuing transition in his campaign, with new and direct appeals to black voters. Prior to the visit to Detroit, he met with black religious and business leaders in Philadelphia.

His Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, have visited Sunday services at black churches around the country for months.

Trump sought Saturday to paint himself as the candidate who would most benefit the nation's black communities.

He said he wants to reform the political system that has "failed the African-American" community and will "go outside the establishment" to do so.

"I want to make America prosperous for everyone," he said. "We talk past each other and not to each other. And those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what's going on. I'm here today to learn, so that we can together remedy injustice in any form, and so that we can also remedy economics so that the African-American community can benefit economically through jobs and income and so many other different ways."

Noting the economic hardship in Michigan's largest city, Trump said, "I want to help you build and rebuild Detroit."

During the service, Trump appeared to engage with church members and sat in the front pew where he could be seen swaying to the sounds of the congregation singing hymns and gospel music. After he spoke, the church's bishop presented him with a prayer shawl from Israel.

Demonstrators meanwhile had gathered near the church to protest the GOP candidate's visit.

Prior to the church service, Trump was interviewed by Bishop Jackson for a piece that is scheduled to air Sept. 7 on the Impact Network, a Christian broadcast TV network of which Jackson is CEO. Trump also visited a Detroit neighborhood with supporter Ben Carson, a former GOP presidential candidate.