Pastor apologizes for controversial tweet of Hillary Clinton in blackface

EASLEY, S.C. — A prominent African-American supporter of Donald Trump apologized Monday for a tweeted cartoon portraying Hillary Clinton in blackface that cast her as pandering to black voters.

Pastor Mark Burns, the Trump surrogate who tweeted the image Monday afternoon, took to Periscope to issue an apology for the photo, but not the message.

“I’m apologizing for the offensive picture,” Burns said. “But I’m not apologizing for the message that it was carrying. … I still believe that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party do pander at the black people.”

Burns also tweeted an image showing Clinton with braids and the caption, “When you need the black vote.”

“The picture is designed to draw attention to the very fact that Hillary Clinton does pander to black people,” Burns told MSNBC before issuing the apology on social media.

“She does pander and the policies are not good for African-Americans. It’s doing exactly what it’s designed to do. We’re not playing the political PC game to make you feel good.”

“Black Americans, THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTES and letting me use you again …See you again in 4 years,” Burns tweeted in the voice of Clinton — along with a cartoon depicting her poorly pandering to African-American voters.

The cartoon features Clinton holding an anti-police sign — a criticism of her stance on the spate of African-Americans’ deaths that have involved police force.

In it, she is also wearing a shirt that says “No hot sauce no peace!” It’s a reference to Clinton — a well-known spicy food lover — saying on the hip-hop show “The Breakfast Club” in April, ahead of the New York primary, that she always carries hot sauce with her.

The cartoon also depicts Clinton as saying, “I ain’t no ways tired of pandering to African-Americans.”

Clinton’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for a comment.

Clinton has a long history of activism for racial equality, dating back to the civil rights movement, where prominent leaders such as Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said they met both Hillary and Bill Clinton.

She’s discussed systemic racial inequality on the campaign trail, campaigning at times with a group of the mothers of young African-Americans killed by police.

She’s also had major support from key African-American politicians.

“I learned a long time ago that Hillary Clinton is a fighter and that’s what we need in our next president,” Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking African-American in Congress, said at Allen University in Columbia in February, helping Clinton ahead of the Nevada and South Carolina contests against Bernie Sanders.

Burns told MSNBC he was “speaking as a black man.”

“The thing is this: This is why we live in a PC environment where you think one person speaks for all. I’m a completely separate individual. I am not Donald Trump. I am Mark Burns,” he said.

The tweet comes as Trump is attempting to increase his outreach to African-American voters. He’s planned an event this weekend in Detroit.

“I am a black man, I am speaking from the perspective of a black American man who lives in a society where we are at the bottom of the totem pole and yet we are still voting en masse for the same policies that are keeping as here,” Burns said.