Trump booster apologizes for Clinton 'blackface' tweet

August 30, 2016 2:54 PM EDT

Pastor Mark Burns speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pastor Marks Burns, a prominent supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, apologized on Tuesday for sending out a tweet that showed a cartoon image of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in blackface.

Burns, an African-American who is frequently one of the warmup speakers at Trump rallies, sent out the tweet on Monday to bolster the Trump campaign's contention that Clinton is pandering for the black vote but will ignore the community if elected on Nov. 8.

"I ain't no ways pandering to African Americans," the cartoon image says.

The tweet emerged at a time when Trump has been trying to broaden his appeal to African-American voters by saying he wants to create more jobs and make black neighborhoods safe so people can walk down the street without getting shot.

After Burns began taking fire for the tweet, he deleted it and apologized for the image but not his message.

"I'm so sorry for the offensive #Blackface image of @HillaryClinton but stand by the message that we Blacks ARE being Used by #Dems for VOTES," Burns said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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