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Pro-Trump pastor apologizes for blackface tweet: I didn’t know racist images would offend people

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Pastor Mark Burns, a surrogate for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, told CNN that he did not realize that a cartoon depicting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in blackface would be “divisive.”

In an apology posted to Periscope on Monday, Burns explained that he regreted posting the controversial political cartoon, which he said was meant to show that Democrats “were using black people just for their votes.”

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“It was never my intention to hurt anyone or to offend anyone,” Burns insisted to CNN host Alisyn Camerota on Tuesday. “Obviously, my message, I stand by. But the methodology, I do not.”

Camerota noted that Burns also tweeted a hoax photo that he claimed showed Bill Clinton standing next to Hillary Clinton in blackface.

“Of course, I didn’t have the correct information knowing it wasn’t Bill Clinton,” Burns said. “I think that’s what the true message of grace is that once you discover new information, you change your opinion and get back on the right path. And that’s what I’m doing right now to the whole world.”

“My job as a pastor is to draw people together, not to push them away,” he continued. “And once I began to discover how it was pulling people apart, it is completely contrary to the message of unity that I’ve been declaring around the world — speaking at Mr. Trump’s rallies around this country — is that we as Americans should be focusing on the colors that unite us and not those colors that divide us.”

“It was, in hindsight, a horrible image to use. For me, the blackface wasn’t the focal point of the picture. For me, when I saw it, it was showing how Hillary Clinton and the Democrat [SIC] Party panders after the black vote.”

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Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Aug. 30, 2016.

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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

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Elections 2016

As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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Elections 2016

‘A profound emoluments clause violation’: Andrew Napolitano slams Trump’s hosting the G7 at Doral

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In the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's announcement this Thursday that next year's G7 summit will be hosted at President Trump's Doral golf club, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Trump would be violating the emoluments clause if he were to go through with the move.

At the outset of the segment, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said that the announcement is "effectively saying the president has given himself this contract."

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