The Detroit pastor revealed to be hosting a scripted interview with Donald Trump on Saturday insisted that the real estate mogul’s presidential campaign is not in control of their meeting.
“I changed the questions up,” Bishop Wayne T. Jackson told WXYZ-TV. “I have confidential questions sitting right here by me now that nobody has seen but my secretary, who typed them up, and it’s in an envelope saying, ‘Apostle Wayne Jackson, confidential.’ Nobody knows. I have not discussed it with Mr. Trump’s camp or anybody else.”
Jackson’s “confidential” questions would run counter to the script discovered by the New York Times, which specified not only the order of the questions Jackson was to ask Trump at Great Faith Ministries International, but also laid out responses for the Republican presidential nominee, who was instructed to tell the African-American congregation that “my support [with black voters] is now up to 8 percent and climbing.”
Media outlets have been barred from the meeting, which will not be aired until next week on Jackson’s Christian television channel, The Impact Network. The bishop, a Democrat, said that Trump’s campaign will not have input into how the broadcast is edited.
The Hill reported that Jackson was hit with criticism on his Facebook page, and was accused of hosting Trump for “a campaign advertisement” and not an actual interview.
But Jackson insisted to WXYZ that Trump would not receive preferential treatment.
“I am not a Uncle Tom. I am not an Uncle Ruckus,” he said. “And I say that to say this: I’ve always helped in our community. I’ve always given in our community. I won’t stop giving in our community and I want people to get that through their heads that this is not a rally, but he’s coming to church. Who would stop anybody from coming to church?”